Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012
The team from Pariba Little League of Willemstad, Curacao, earned their berth in the 2012 Little League World Series with quite an astonishing run in their regional tournament. They won all six of their games in the Caribbean Regional tournament, and not only that, but the team won by at least seven runs in each game.
As a matter of fact, the team's closest game was an 8-1 victory over Jose M. Rodriguez Little League. That game seemed like an average day at the field for these kids thanks to a 14-5 victory in the championship game over Elrod Hendricks West Little League from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. That's quite a way to make your debut on the world's stage.
Curacao as a nation is not entirely unfamiliar with the Little League World Series, seeing as they've had a team in the series every year since 2001. In fact, the first Caribbean team to make it to South Williamsport since 1980 was a team from Pariba Little League. The following year, Pariba was able to send another team in 2002. The Pariba Little League baseball players of 2002 were able to end their series play with a 2-1 record, defeating Mexico and Europe, only falling to Asia.
Still, their record was enough to put them in the international semifinal against Latin America, who they defeated, 3-0. The team then had a rematch against Asia in the international semifinal, but were unable to best them again, losing, 4-1. The team's last win of 2002 was a consolation game against New England in which they had a lopsided win, 9-1.
Since that astounding team came in 2002, Pariba Little League hasn't been represented at the Little League World Series since. Instead, Paboa Little League, also of Willemstad, has been representing Curacao. Paboa Little League came to South Williamsport from 2003 to 2009, including winning a title in 2004 over the West, 5-2, and losing in 2005 in 7 innings to the Northwest, 7-6.
"It is a great feeling and felt wonderful that we could come and represent the region." -- Caribbean Manager Edmiro Chirino
But this year it was yet again Pariba Little League's time to shine, sending forth a team bound to conquer anything in their path as can clearly be seen by their dominating force in Caribbean Regional tournament.
"It is a great feeling and felt wonderful that we could come and represent the region," said Caribbean manager Edmiro Chirino.
The Caribbean opened the 2012 Little League World Series with a game against Japan. In the first two innings, Japan scored six runs en route to a 7-0 victory over the Caribbean.
But the Caribbean shook it off and in their next game against the Europe champions from Ramstein, Germany, the Caribbean clearly had the dominate hand by steam rolling Europe, 14-2. The boys from Curacao wasted no time at all, scoring eight runs off of seven hits in the first inning.
This looked like the team that fans were expecting off of their regional run.
In the Caribbean's third game of the Series, they took on Canada champions Vancouver, British Columbia. The Caribbean went on board first thanks to a home run by Mildward Baranco in the second inning, but Candana was right back in the game with a run of their own in the bottom of the third.
Canada shot past the Caribbean with two more run, making the non-believers believe it could all be over for the Little League of Pariba in this elimination game, but the Caribbean reeled back by adding another three runs in the bottom of the fifth, living to see another day.
On Tuesday, the Caribbean would go one to face the Mexico champions of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, two teams with a strong 2-1 record. Two walks and one wild pitch allowed the Caribbean to earn two runs in the game against Mexico, but it just wasn't enough to take down the Mexico powerhouse with their powerful offense, losing, 6-2.
"I felt we played well today," said Chirino, "but there were two pitches that missed and that was the game basically."
But the entire ordeal of being at the World Series is simply enough for the kids from Willemstad, Curacao, and they are making the most out of it.
"The kids and I were able to get a lot of experience. Basically we came to win a sport and we were able to meet all the regional champions, so now we know what level Curacao is at," said Chirino.
Not only did the team make it well into this year's Little League World Series, but they do not plan on ending their visit just yet.
"We're going to try to get some cross games in with other teams and try to enjoy the rest of the experience of the games," said Chirino.
So once again Paribo Little League is back on this unique world sport's stage and once again are making an extremely memorable impression. Fans can only hope to have them back again in the near future.