Mexico Powers Way Into International Final
With an 11-run Shutout
Over the Latin America Champs, Mexico Advances to the International
By Allie Weinberger
An extra 20 feet of outfield might stop a lot of sluggers. Just not
the ones from Mexico.
At Howard J. Lamade Stadium, in an 11-0 game cut to four innings via
the mercy rule, Mexico rocked Venezuela in a lopsided International
bracket semifinal game that featured three home runs and 11 Mexico
hits. The win puts Mexico in the International Championship Game
Saturday night at Lamade Stadium.
Just three batters into the game, Mexico took an early 2-0 lead with
Jose Segoviano’s towering home run that cleared the hedges in
left-centerfield with a man on first. Things quickly got worse for
the Cadenales Little Leaguers, after Josue Barron was awarded first
base after being hit on the wrist by starting hurler Manuel Barrios.
A single through an infield gap from Roberto Guajardo, followed by a
fielding error by shortstop Ermison Arellano, loaded the bases for
But Barrios’s control was wavering early, and Cantu drew a 3-1 walk
to bring home the third run of the inning.
“We had seen him throw before,” Mexico manager Candelario Perez said
through interpreter Micah Hughes. “We looked at his numbers and we
looked at him as a really strong pitcher, so we were surprised that
we had such success against him.”
With the bases still loaded and two outs, Barrios got No. 9 hitter
Reynaldo Mariscal to ground out to second to end the top of the
first. But the firestorm was far from over.
With the early 3-0 lead, Mexico ace Omar Zamora took the mound for
what would turn out to be an 11-strikeout, three-hit performance.
“He seemed focused and came out to play hard,” said Venezuela
manager Domingo Carrasquel through interpreter Dr. Luis Sanchez. “He
Unfortunately, success wasn’t in the cards for Venezuela Wednesday
afternoon. After an error at third base put a runner on in the
second, Barrios gave up a single to slugger Jorge Villafranca before
being yanked in favor of Arellano.
But Arellano’s stuff wasn’t on either.
With runners on first and second, pinch hitter Jesus Garza stepped
to the plate and looped a pitch into left field to score Zamora. The
throw home allowed both runners to advance with just one out in the
And if Venezuela’s troubles weren’t enough, Barron took Arellano
deep on the very next at-bat to clear the bases and put Mexico up,
7-0. A one-out walk to pinch hitter Isaac Lambarri followed,
prompting Venezuela’s second pitching change of the inning.
Robert Guedez, brought in to relieve Arellano, made the final two
outs of the inning in order.
Venezuela found little success on the offensive side of the ball
either. Mexico’s Zamora struck out the side in order in the second
after allowing just one hit in the first.
“I’m just thankful that I was as successful as I was having the
worry about my arm coming into the game,” said Zamora. The pitcher’s
forearm was sore heading into Wednesday’s game and he was afraid he
would struggle as a result.
But not only did he shine from the mound, he scored twice in a
2-for-4 day at the plate.
The pitcher was also the one to get a four-run third inning rolling
with a triple down the right-field line. Villafranca followed with a
free trip to first, and Segoviano got his second hit of the day to
score Zamora and give Mexico an 8-0 lead.
Both base runners advanced on a wild pitch during the next at-bat,
putting runners in scoring position. Three batters later, the Mexico
sluggers were at it again, cashing in with another shot over the
centerfield fence courtesy of Roberto Guajardo to run the score to
“I had no idea it would be so easy,” Perez said. “I anticipated
having won the game, but never in such an easy way.”
The top of the fourth was much of the same for Mexico, the
frustration visibly mounting on the Venezuelan side. But with
runners on the corners and two out, Oswaldo Espinoza saved another
Mexico run with a sliding catch in shallow centerfield to strand
“The other coaches and I tried to revive their enthusiasm and [get
them to] do the best they could,” said Carrasquel.
Venezuela managed to get one more hit in the bottom of the fourth,
but Zamora continued to dominate and stuck out the side swinging.
“It was just having a higher level of confidence coming into the
game today,” said Perez. “We didn’t feel as much pressure today.”
The Mexico champs batted through the order in each of the first two
innings and sported three hedge-clearing home runs in each of the
first three frames. Mexico’s 11 RBI were spread among five players,
while Zamora pitched a four-inning gem.
© 2006, Little League Baseball
Please direct comments about this website to