Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date/Time: Day, August 18, 6:00pm ET
In an elimination game of the Little League World Series on Saturday afternoon, Middle East-Africa champions Lugazi, Uganda fell to the champions from Mexico, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas,12-0, after four innings thanks to the 10-run mercy rule at Volunteer Stadium.
This year marked the first time that a team from an African nation competed in the Little League World Series.
As first time participants and now being eliminated from the tournament, Middle East-Africa coach Richard Stanley expressed pride and a sense of accomplishment that an African team finally made it to the Little League World Series in what he described as a once in a lifetime experience.
“We are winners,” he said. “I told the kids they are already champions.”
Stanley said that he did not want to think about the results because everyone on the team are winners, whatever the result of the games.
Middle East-Africa was able to shut down Mexico’s offense in the first inning, but in the second Mexico’s bats came alive, and with a vengeance, as they scored five runs.
Andres Carrillo started the inning off for Mexico with a solo home run before Joel Turrubiates would add a 3-run homer of his own later in the inning, giving Mexico a 5-0 lead early.
From that point on, it would be all Mexico. They would add seven more runs in the third inning. Early in the inning, Mexico would hit back-to-back homers, courtesy of Carrillo -- his second of the game -- and Felix Diaz.
This type of offensive game for Mexico of early and often offense was in contrast to their first game against the Canadian champions, Vancouver, British Columbia, resulting in a 13-9 loss at Volunteer stadium on Friday afternoon.
However, Mexico coach Francisco Franco said he wasn’t worried coming into Saturday’s game.
“I trust all my guys,” he said.
Franco said he thought the loss had a positive effect on his team, getting them to really go after it.
Carrillo echoed coach Franco’s sentiments, saying he feels great about the team in general.
“I think we can still win this thing,” Carrillo said.
While Mexico got to savor the taste of victory, Middle East-Africa felt the harsh reality of defeat. Despite the result, manager Henry Odong wasn’t lacking for confidence, especially since the majority of his players are 11-years-old and will most likely try to advance to the Little League World Series again.
“This team will come back next year strong,” Odong said.
While Middle East-Africa champions Uganda are eliminated from competing for the coveted Little League World Series title, they do get to play in a consolation game on Tuesday against the loser of Saturday's Mid-Atlantic/Northwest game. Mexico advances to play on Monday against the loser of Sunday's Japan/Asia-Pacific game.