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Latin America Wins 8-7 Over Asia-Pacific in Sixth Inning Rally
By Brenna Urban
Game Attendance: 11,282
Latin America came back big in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring four runs to beat Asia-Pacific 8-7 Tuesday evening at Howard J. Lamade stadium in South Williamsport, Pa.
“This wasn’t the first time we had to battle back, I just had to keep the team motivated,” said manager Luis Gonzalez.
Latin America’s offense was on fire during the first inning, starting off with a line-drive single by Jean Mar Sanchez. Daniel Fernandez and Juan Crisp both walked. Jordan Agrazal reached base on a fielder’s choice to third base, and Radameth De Leon (Sanchez’s special pinch runner) scored. Pinch-hitter Armando Lopez hit a shot to right center field for a three-run homerun, giving Latin America a 4-0 lead.
In the second inning, Asia-Pacific’s Shih-Che Chou knocked a line drive to center field for a triple. Chen-Hsun Lee then hit an RBI-double to right field, scoring Chou to put Asia-Pacific on the board.
Asia-Pacific had a huge third inning that began with singles from Kai-En Wu and Tung-Jua Yeh. Huai-Chien Lan stepped up with an RBI, and Shih-Che Chou added a two-run double, tying the game 4-4. Chen-Hsun Lee’s huge single to center field advanced Asia-Pacific runners into scoring position. Ching-Fong Yu then hit an RBI-single, finally forcing a pitching change for Latin America. Shu-Ming Lee knocked in two more runs before the inning was over, giving Asia-Pacific a total of six runs and seven hits to take the lead, 7-4.
But the game’s momentum shifted one more time in the bottom of the sixth inning when Latin America scored four runs on an error, a two-run single by Jordan Agrazal, and a hit-by-pitch.
Although their Little League Baseball® World Series run is over, the Asia-Pacific team and coaches say the experiences gained during the tournament were well worth the ride.
“We have learned how the American people love baseball and we can bring this experience back to Taiwan to improve our baseball environment,” said manager Kuo-Chiang Lee.
Both teams came into the game with 2-1 records for the series. Latin America defeated the Caribbean region, lost to Mexico, and most recently beat Canada 12-0 on Monday to advance to today’s game. Asia-Pacific beat Canada to open the series, lost a close game to Japan 3-2, and most recently defeated the Caribbean Region.
Latin America advances play the winner of tomorrow’s Mexico/Japan game at Lamade Stadium on Thursday at 4 p.m.