tall after 7-1 victory
By David Graham-Caso
Russia found itself in a foreign position
Monday afternoon, entering Game 17 of the 2003 Little League World
Series. Though the Khovrino Little League from Moscow, Russia had been
to Williamsport for the last three years, until Sunday evening, they
had never won a game. Needless to say, Moscow had never had a
legitimate opportunity to advance to the International semi-final.
This is why Monday afternoon’s showdown with Altagracia, Venezuela was
so unique; if Russia beat the Venezuela squad, they would be in the
single elimination round on Wednesday.
The Latin American champs were too much or
the Russian squad. Though he didn’t pitch poorly, Europe starter
Kirill Starodbov was plagued by poor fielding and passed balls.
Starodbov allowed seven runs on eight hits in his second loss of the
“Kirill did not pitch
poorly today,” said Russia manager Vladimir Eltchaninov. “He was hurt
by errors, but he did not pitch poorly.”
relieved in the bottom of the fifth inning by comrade Alexey Kozin.
Kozin immediately ran into trouble. The righty inherited a runner on
first, and after issuing a free pass to Ferrer, he gave up a single to
center. An error by left fielder Anton Chekalin brought in the run,
making the score 7-1.
Venezuela improved to 2-0 in pool play
with the 7--1victory.
Venezuela starter Siberad Ferrer threw two
innings, allowing one run on three hits before being relieved by Adis
“Siberad’s arm was
starting to hurt, so I decided not to risk anything,” said Altagracia
manager Alfonso Avendano through an interpreter. “Adis did a good
was magnificent in relief. He struck out the first seven batters he
faced before surrendering a single to Alexei Bogdanov in the top of
the fifth inning. Portillo worked three innings of scoreless ball
before Eugenio Yajure came in to close out the game in the sixth.
“I was very satisfied with how I did as a
reliever today,” he said through an interpreter.
improves to 2-0 and next faces the also undefeated Mexico squad 11
a.m. at Lamade Stadium on Tuesday. The game will decide the first
place team out of pool C.
Russia finishes the tournament 1-2. This
is the first time in three years that Russia has won a game at the
Little League World Series.