Latin America Pours It On
Venezuela improves to 2-0 after a shower of hits
By Andrew Schimmel
The rain might have dampened the field at Lamade Stadium, but it
certainly didn’t dampen the offense of the Latin America champs.
Venezuela’s bats came out on fire against the EMEA representatives
from Apeldoorn, Netherlands, using three home runs in the first
inning and five overall en route to a 21-2 mercy-rule shortened
victory in front of 1,800 Little League fans.
The 21 runs scored by the youngsters from Maracaibo, Venezuela are
the most by one team at the Little League Baseball World Series
since Chinese Taipei scored 21 against Canada on August 21, 1996.
The Far East region champs won 21-2 that day over Surrey, British
Columbia, a team that included current Baltimore Orioles pitcher
Venezuela scored six in the first, 12 in the second and three in the
third, using 19 hits in all. The 12-run second inning featured Omar
Villalobos’ second two-run homer of the game and a three-run blast
by Miguel Romero, who also hit a solo shot in the first.
Venezuela starter Reinaldo Amaro limited the Dutch squad to two hits
and one earned run in three-plus innings of work. He struck out five
in addition to going 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored at
“Perfect,” Amaro said of his performance on both sides of the ball
through translator Dr. Luis Sanchez.
EMEA coach Casper Coffie was honest in his assessment of the game.
“I thought (the weather) would help us today because the pitcher
throws a knuckle and a curve but because the ball was wet, we were
stuck only throwing fastballs,” he said. “I mean, look at their
hitting. It’s incredible. So have fun, do your best”
After seeing their first two batters retired in the first, the
Venezuela All-Stars watched their next seven batters reach base in
an inning which included six runs on six hits, along with
back-to-back homers from Villalobos and Romero.
Their hot start allowed the team to sit comfortably on a lead that
only increased as the game progressed. Such was not the case on
Friday in their game against Asia-Pacific when they eeked out a 2-1
pitchers’ duel win on a walk-off hit by Romero.
Romero confessed through translator Dr. Luis Sanchez that it was not
the first time that he had bookended a back-to-back home run
display, given that “Back-to-Back” was the nickname he received
after the first time he accomplished the feat in April during the
Venezuelan national tournament.
The Latin American team was anxious to get on the field after all of
Monday’s games were pushed back a day due to the rain that has
soaked South Williamsport for the last two days. They spent the day
off playing an improvised version of baseball in their dorm, using a
ping pong ball as a baseball and a slipper in place of a bat.
The La Victoria All-Stars are now 2-0 in Pool D and are in control
of their own destiny.
© 2007, Little League Baseball
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