|For the love of the
Both teams knew tournament play for them was over after
this. That’s why this 4-0 Venezuela win was all about
The win really didn’t matter.
Down 0-2 in the Series, neither the Arabian American
Little League nor the Los Leones Little League had a
shot at advancing. Neither team would play in a World
Series game again in 2005. And neither team cared.
They just love baseball.
“We always enjoy our trip to the Little League World
Series,” said Saudi manager Tommy Bumstead. “The kids
are treated like such professionals.”
But while the rest of South Williamsport forgot about
the 0-2 tykes from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, two teams
battled and played their hearts out, registering just
six hits between them.
And in a game that didn’t affect the Little League
Baseball World Series, Venezuela earned its first
tournament victory in front of 4,750 at Volunteer
Stadium, 4-0. The pitchers of the Latin American
All-Stars notched 11 strikeouts, increasing their
tournament total to 33. Venezuela’s duo of hurlers faced
20 batters – just two over the six-inning game minimum –
and allowed two hits.
“This game, we were playing for pride,” said pitcher
Richard Alvarez, Jr. through interpreter Dr. Luis
Sanchez. “That’s why we had so many strikeouts.”
Venezuela got the ball rolling in the bottom of the
first, when an error on six-foot-five Saudi first
baseman Aaron Durley put Alvarez on the bag. Martin
Cornieles then looped a single over the head of right
fielder Paul Kelsch for a base hit, moving Alvarez over
to third. Cornieles advanced to second on the throw from
The first of two wild pitches by Saudi starter Alex
Robinett gave Alvarez the plate and the first run,
followed immediately by a second wild pitch to score a
second unearned run.
“Where we’ve lost games is we’ve given teams extra
opportunities,” said Bumstead. “Every time that we’ve
had an error, it leads to a run.”
Catcher Connor Clark mishandled a toss from his hurler
and moved Victor Sequera to third before Robinett,
previously 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in six innings of work,
stuck out Eduardo Castellanos on a called third strike
to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second, shortstop Gabriel Santana
doubled the Venezuela lead to 4-0, taking one off
Robinett and squeaking it just over the center field
fence for a two-out, two-run home run.
said he didn’t think too much about his outfield blast.
“I didn’t really try to his a home run. It just came,”
he said through Sanchez.
“[Venezuela] has tremendous athletes and quick hands at
the plate,” the Transatlantic manager said in his Texas
drawl. “If you leave a ball over the plate, they’ll make
After a YMCA dance break – performed by Little League
Mascot Dugout and Venezuela right fielder Othecber
Orozco – broke up the third, Robinett toed the rubber to
retire the Latin America side in order.
“Alex has been our go-to guy,” Bumstead said. “And we
wanted to give him the opportunity to go out and win
But in the fourth with no outs and one on, Bumstead
brought in Alec Dalhseide to relieve his tired hurler.
“[Robinett] told us before the inning that his arm felt
a little tired,” said the Saudi skipper. “I could tell
he was struggling, and I made the call.”
After two fielder’s choice balls (one for no out),
Dahlseide finished out the side forcing a strikeout and
a grounder to third.
Alvarez came out to pitch in the top of the fifth,
retiring the Saudi side in order with two strikeouts.
Alvarez led off the bottom of the fifth with a powerful
hopper over the second base bag and into center field.
After almost being picked off at first, the pitcher took
second on a passed ball. But a Martin Cornieles grounder
back to the mound got the first out, followed by a
Gilberto Vielma strikeout and another grounder to the
mound off the bat of Sequera.
“For 99 percent of these players, this will be the
highlight of their athletic career,” said Bumstead, his
voice emanating love and pride for his players.
But the top of the sixth was all the boys from Saudi
Arabia had left. Down 4-0 in their final pool play game,
the Transatlantic champs knew their stay at Williamsport
was over. Alvarez was back on the mound, looking to
finish his team’s two-hit shutout.
And after a deep fly ball that sent center fielder
Darwin Paez back to the warning track, Alvarez got it,
fanning Ryan Bumstead and finishing Saudi’s tournament
play with a 0-2 fastball.
Though the Los Leones boys were satisfied with today’s
win, they weren’t too satisfied with their two previous
loses. But Alvarez admitted that their pool losses were
against two difficult teams – the 3-0 Japan and the
defending World Series Champion Curacao.
Though two teams who love the game of baseball left the
Williamsport tournament today, at least one leaves the
States vindicated – and proud.
© 2005, Little League Baseball
Please direct comments about this website to