Richmond goes big
and rich with offense
Texans pound out 16 hits en
route to 18-7 win over Redmond
What a difference a year makes for Richmond's Randal Grichuk.
As an 11-year-old
playing for the same Lamar National Little League All-Stars at the
2003 World Series, Grichuk came to bat just five times during pool
play. This time around for the Southwest champs, Grichuk in one
game already has five plate appearances...and five big ones.
The slugger cracked
two home runs in his first two at-bats, and then connected for an
RBI double for his third hit in the first three innings as
Richmond used four home runs in all and took advantage of five
errors to cruise to an 18-7 win over the Northwest champs from
Redland, WA in front of 11,400 at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.
Grichuk was also
intentionally walked and hit by a pitch, finishing the day with
four runs scored and four RBI.
At five-foot-seven and
126 pounds, Grichuk is five and a half inches taller and 23 pounds
heavier than he was a year ago. He seems to be using that growth
to knock the ball out of the park.
"(This year) feels a
lot better, especially to be batting third," he said. "I love the
games when you bat four or five times."
Including two homers
in his last two at-bats in the Southwest Regional (one that tied
the championship game with Arkansas at 2-2 and one that sent
Richmond to Williamsport, a seventh-inning solo blast), and his
two long balls today, Grichuk homered in four straight plate
"(My teammates) were
all talking about it, but I said, 'Oh, I didn't think about
that,'" Grichuk said.
Catcher Daniel Homann
and pitcher Matt Daniels, who allowed two unearned runs in four
innings of work, joined Grichuk in the home run parade. Daniels'
grand slam ("I just thought 'tennis ball in a coul-de-sac'") was
part of a five-run fifth, Richmond's second five-run frame of the
18 Southwest runs are the most by a United States team in one game
since the tournament expanded to 16 teams in 2001.
"We really don't have
a power-hitting team," said manager Jim Michalek. "If you hit the
ball on the screws sometimes it just leaves the yard. We just
pride ourselves on trying to hit the ball hard."
back-to-back jacks to jump out to a 3-0 lead after the top half of
the first. Grichuk hugged one around the left field foul pole for
a two-run blast before Homann stroked one over the
Grichuk's solo homer
in the second capped a five-run inning.
"That was pretty
impressive," Redmond manager Darryl Beliel said of Richmond's
offensive performance. "They definitely have a good
fastball-hitting team. (Grichuk) will be doing a lot more damage
to other teams."
Redmond battled back
for four runs in the fifth to make it 15-6 and avoid a mercy
rule-shortened game. Centerfielder Michael Conforto capped the
scoring for both teams with his sixth-inning solo shot.
"We could have hung it
up after two innings," Beliel said. "We're a good team and that
showed we didn't have to quit. I was very proud of them."
News and Notes:
Dario Pizzano from
last year's New England Regional Champion Saugus, MA team was in
attendance. Pizzano scored the winning run in Saugus' thrilling
14-13, seven-inning victory over these same Richmond Texans in one
of the United States semifinal contests. The 13-year-old, who is
in South Williamsport with his brother and grandparents, is
planning on staying until Tuesday.
During the game,
Pizzano was joined by teammate Mark Sacco. The two then spotted
Boynton Beach, FL fireballer Michael Broad, whose team advanced to
last year's World Series Championship game. The three watched the
final three innings together from the first row behind home plate.
Prior to the game,
Little League and the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation
unveiled a 14-foot tall bronze statue of "The Might Casey" on the
flat ground between the two hills in leftfield at Lamade Stadium.
The larger-than-life statue recognizes a two-million dollar
endowment that provides annual support to the Little League
Baseball Challenger Division. Little League President/CEO Steve
Keener joined Teammates for Kids CEO Bo Mitchell and statue
sculptor Mark Lundin at the pitchers mound for comments before the
for box scores