Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
Mexico (3-0) clinches first place in Pool C with 10-0 win over Guam
By Jesse Caputo
The Mexico bats were sizzling on a hot afternoon in Williamsport, delivering hit after hit on their way to another mercy-rule victory.
Mexico beat Asia-Pacific Region’s Southern Guam Little League 10-0 in four innings, using four home runs to power a red-hot offense. Matamoros came into the game on Monday batting .366 as a team, and showed no signs of slowing down by going a collective 10-for-20.
After mercy-ruling their opponent for the second time in as many days, Mexico champs Matamoros Little League will advance to the semifinals of the Little League World Series with a 3-0 record in Pool C play.
“I’m really happy with the results we’ve had so far,” Matamoros manager Gustavo Gomez said through a translator. “We’ve been working hard, and actually working for an entire year for this and our bats have finally exploded.”
In the second inning, Eleazar Rojas ignited a seven-run outburst with a two-run single. Later in the inning, Tomas Castillo lined a three-run homer to center field, and brothers Sergio and Emmanuel Rodriguez capped the inning with back-to-back blasts.
Emmanuel’s homer was a deep blast to center field, putting him in competition with Castillo’s monstrous shot from Sunday against Italy for the longest home run on the team thus far.
“It feels greats because we’re hitting the ball and we also have a lot of pitching,” Emmanuel Rodriguez said. “Coaches and the people surrounding us are telling us to work hard and they motivate us a lot.”
Asia-Pacific starter Parish Reyes would not make it out of the second inning, being lifted for relief pitcher Johnny Quenga. Reyes gave up seven earned runs and six hits in 1.2 innings of work. Quenga slowed the Mexican bats somewhat, only giving up two earned runs in 1.2 innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, pinch hitter Carlos Balboa came to the plate with a runner on first and two outs. Balboa reached for an outside Quenga pitch and got it to just clear the centerfield wall with a flick of his wrists.
With Mexico up 9-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Ruben Molina hit a single to start off the inning, followed by an Emmanuel Rodriguez single to bring in Molina for the tenth and final run of the game.
“I believe it was a matter of time,” Gomez said. “The first game we struggled through the first four innings. Obviously it was our first game and against a great team, but I had confidence that sooner or later the bats were going to explode as they did, and we really hope they continue to be like this.”
Mexico will wait to find out whether they face Japan or Latin America in the International Semifinal on Thursday.
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