Ortiz gives Mexico Walk-off Win
Mexico knocks off defending International champs
By Mark Rogoff
The magic continued at Howard J. Lamade Stadium on Saturday with the
second walk-off hit in as many games.
This time it was Mexico, which got a two-run double from Jose Ortiz
with one out in the bottom of the sixth to beat the defending
International champs from Curacao, 3-2, before 7,800 rain-soaked
“I felt really good when I hit the ball,” said Ortiz through
interpreter Micah Hughes. “I felt good having won the game. I feel
good because everyone else is happy.”
With a 2-1 lead in the sixth, Curacao skipper Michelangelo Celestina
called on Mirangelo Muller to close it out after starter Sherman
Lacrus gave up a lead-off single to Julio Vargas.
Muller walked the first batter Josue Barron, and both Barron and
Vargas moved up a base on a wild pitch three pitches later. Muller
got Roberto Guajardo to strike out, then came Ortiz, who laced a
Muller offering over the fence on a hop.
“This is a great team, a disciplined team,” said Mexico manager
Candelario Perez. “It’s a very positive team that regardless of
winning of losing (during the game) will stay strong.”
Trailing 2-0 with two outs in the fifth, Mexico cut the deficit in
half when Jorge Villafranca used all of his 4-foot-10, 146-pound
frame to crush a towering solo homer beyond the shrubs in
Curacao threatened to tack on another run in the bottom of the
fifth, when Carolina stroked a two-out double and advanced to third
on a wild pitch. Lacrus stepped to the plate and hit a hot-shot
grounder to third baseman Josue Barron, who snared the ball and
threw to first for the out.
“I feel very happy about it,” said Villafranca of the home run. “It
really helped the team get sparked up because we were down. We had
lost a little bit of our excitement. Being down 2-0, and having hit
the home run, I noticed a spark. I was really grateful that I was
able to help my team.”
Curacao pushed across its only runs in the third on Rayshelon
Carolina’s two-run double. Mexico starter Omar Zamora worked a
complete-game three-hitter, striking out 12 and walking two.
When asked of his chances to defeat the defending International
champs, Manager Perez said, “If we could get a good pitching
performance from Zamora, then we could win. And he had a great
performance, giving up only three hits.
“I feel really content and happy,” said Zamora. “The goal was to get
to the Little League World Series and obviously to win the
championship. I feel like I helped achieve one step closer to our
Curacao’s Lacrus went five-plus innings, allowing two runs on seven
hits. He fanned eight and did not walk a batter.
“He was tired,” said Celestina of his starting pitcher. “He told me
he was a little tired, and I took him out of the game. They beat us
… they are good. They have a really good team.”
© 2006, Little League Baseball
Please direct comments about this website to