Russia earns first
“W” in 3 years at LLWS
Guam perfect-game bid ends after 5
By Mark Rogoff
It all went away so quickly for Guam’s
Scribes in the press box were set to pen him “Pedro” in honor of the
mastermind Boston Red Sox ace. Instead, his Russian counterpart Evgeny
Vorotyntsev may have to take on the nickname.
Perez in one swing of the bat lost his
perfect-game bid Sunday evening against the European champs. Two
singles later, he lost the shutout…and the game.
In a stunning turn of events in Game 13 at
Volunteer Stadium, Russia upended Guam 2-0 to earn their first ever
Little League World Series victory, despite Perez’ 5.2 innings of
Kirill Starodubov’s 2-out RBI single up
the middle proved to be the difference as Russia upped its pool-play
record to 1-1 while Guam fell to 0-2.
“This is pretty amazing,” said Russia head
coach Vladimir Eltchaninov. “(Winning a game) was our goal for three
years. I’m full of joy.”
The 2-0 triumph
was Russia’s first win in 7 games ever played in Williamsport. Both
Khovrino All-Star teams went 3-and-out in 2001 and 2002.
“We didn’t expect to win this one,”
Kirill Starodubov said through his manager. “It happened so suddenly. The
feeling was so unpredictable. It’s difficult to express my feelings.”
Vorotyntsev tossed a complete-game
shutout, giving up 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 12.
throw-‘em-out” in the 6th sealed the win for Vorotyntsev and his
mates. He struck out the side in the 2nd and 4th innings.
“I felt excellent through the 4th,” he
said through manager Eltchaninov. “Then I thought I couldn’t make it.
I felt like we were going to play for long, long, extra innings.”
Guam had put runners in scoring position
in every inning but the 5th. Vorotyntsev finished 4 of 6 innings with
“The hits came, the runners were stranded, but Russia broke the ice
before we did,” said Guam skipper Shon Muna.
Perez would have become the 4th pitcher in
World Series history to throw a perfect game, joining Kiyoshi Tsumura
of Chofu, Japan (1976), Fred Shapiro of Delaware Township, New Jersey
(1956), and Angel Macias of Monterrey, Mexico (1957).
Five straight batters reached base in the
6th. Russia plated its 2nd run when Guam catcher Gerald Quichocho
couldn’t handle a throw to force out Alexey Kozin at the plate.
“Of course we’re
satisfied with his win,” Eltchaninov said. “We just want to play
another good game tomorrow.”
Added Vorotyntsev: “I had a feeling that
we’d win a couple games and go the next level.”
A win tomorrow against Latin America could
turn that feeling into a reality.