Game 3
New England
1 vs. West 3
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
10:00AM ET

Air Jordan
Thousand Oak's Jordan Brower contributes on mound and with bat in 3-1 win over Lincoln

By Mark Rogoff

Jordan Brower, Tyler Karp and Sean McIntyre all had one-inning auditions on the hill in Thousand Oak's first game at the Little League World Series, a 9-2 win over Morganton, North Carolina.

Brower gave up two runs on three hits in his inning of work while Karp allowed a pair of base hits in a scoreless frame. McIntyre struck out two in a shutout inning and looked the best, according to manager Tom Ginther. He therefore got the nod in Thousand Oak's tilt with Davenport the next day.

How did Brower feel about not pitching against the Midwest champs?

"No, it didn't bother me," he said.

And that most definitely showed Tuesday when Ginther sent him to the mound against Lincoln in the final pool play game for both teams.

The right-hander tossed five innings of one-run ball and knocked in what proved to be the winning run with an RBI single in the third as Thousand Oaks locked up the Number One seed in Pool A, improving to a perfect 3-0 with a 3-1 triumph over Lincoln (1-2) in front of 4,784 at Volunteer Stadium.

"That was my first game on TV and I was nervous," Brower said of his first pitching appearance. "I got the feel of how it was."

Brower threw an array of pitches at the Lincoln hitters, limiting them to just 3 hits. After giving up a leadoff single in the second, he retired 12 in a row to complete his outing.

"Today my curveball was working and my knuckleball was going for strikes," he said.

Chris Constantino was equally impressive on the mound for Lincoln, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and a pair of walks. The right-hander struck out nine.

"He's got the heart of a lion," said Lincoln coach Steve Rhault. "He's been fighting a bad back, but he came out and gave his all."

Constantino staked Lincoln to an early 1-0 lead, driving in Damon Divozzi with an RBI single to right in the first. Divozzi had led off the game with a double to right-center field and advanced to third on Jeremy Rhault's groundout to James Brady at second.

"After that first inning, Jordan settled down and did a great job," Ginther said.

The Conejo Valley Little Leaguers evened the score at 1-1 in the second when James Brady's two-out infield single plated Tyler Karp from third.

After Brower's hit put Thousand Oaks up for good in the third inning, Danny Leon scored from third on a passed ball in the fifth for some insurance. Cody Thomson struck out one in a scoreless sixth for the save.

"We struck out nine times, but we got the bat on the ball enough to win the ballgame," Ginther said. "I think we're having some fun now."

Rhault was impressed with Thousand Oaks, calling them "the team to beat" in South Williamsport.

"They've got the total package," he said. "To keep a team like that to three runs, you got to be happy with that."

With the win, Thousand Oaks locked up a spot in Thursday's United States semi-final against the second-place club from Pool B.


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2004 Little League Baseball Incorporated