Four teams emerged as winners on Sunday, which was opening day of the 39th annual Junior League Baseball World Series. Eight unbeaten teams hit World Series Field on Monday at Taylor’s Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Road.
The eight-day international tournament features 12 teams of ballplayers ages 13 and 14 from around the globe. The Junior League World Series is the “older brother” of the more famous Little League World Series, a tournament for 12-year-olds held in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Four games are scheduled for Monday:
11 a.m. Europe-Africa champion Bologna, Italy (0-0) vs. Guayama, Puerto Rico (1-0)
2 p.m. USA Central champion Johnston, Iowa (0-0) vs. USA Southeast champion Melbourne, Florida (1-0)
5 p.m. Latin America champion Reynosa, Mexico (0-0) vs. Asia-Pacific champion Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei (1-0)
8 p.m. USA West champion Fullerton, California (0-0) vs. USA Southeast champion Tulsa, Oklahoma (1-0)
The games in Taylor are open to the public. Admission is only $5 per carload per game or $15 for a week’s pass. Both prices include parking.
Four more games are scheduled for Tuesday:
11 a.m. Canadian national champ Medicine Hat, Alberta vs. Mexico or Chinese Taipei
2 p.m. USA East champ Berlin, Maryland vs. California or Oklahoma
5 p.m. Perth, West Australia vs. Italy or Puerto Rico
8 p.m. Michigan District 5 champion Taylor, Michigan vs. Iowa or Florida
A special recognition will take place before tonight’s California-Oklahoma game. Two members of the 1987 World Series champions from the West Rowland Heights Little League in California will be honored. They are Ed Kim, who is a coach of this year’s Fullerton team, and Moose Reyes, who is flying to Taylor to join his friend and teammate. By the way, Ed’s son Kyle is playing for Fullerton, marking just the second time in JLWS history that a father and son have played in the international tournament.
The Rest of the Week: Four games will be played daily through Wednesday at World Series Field on the grounds of the Taylor South Little League. Two games are scheduled for Thursday. The tournament is played in a “modified double-elimination” format. Teams continue in pool play until they lose twice and four teams remain. Then, two teams play in the International championship game at 3 p.m. Friday, followed by the USA title game at 6 p.m. The world championship game is set for noon next Sunday, August 18.
Can’t be in Taylor? For the first time in JLWS history, all 21 games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks. Games will be streamed on ESPN+. The world championship game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Fans can sign up for ESPN+ through the ESPN App or at the website www.espnplus.com for $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year and can cancel at any time.
How they got here: All of the teams arrive as champions, having won regional and/or national tournaments, or, in Taylor’s case, a district title. Last year, Little League International added the Michigan District 5 champ as a host team to the JLWS to even up the USA and International pools at six teams each. The Taylor team is made up of all-stars from three leagues: Taylor Northeast, Taylor Northwest and Taylor North Central. This is the first time in more than 30 years that a team from Taylor is playing in the World Series. Taylor Northwest played in 1987 and Taylor Northeast played in 1988 – both times as state champions.
Tulsa, Oklahoma 9, Taylor, Michigan 5: In the Junior League World Series for the first time ever, the USA Southwest regional champions from Oklahoma defeated Michigan District 5 host team Taylor, Michigan 9-5. Tulsa scored three runs in the fifth inning. Emerson Lane went 2-for-2, scored twice and knocked in a run. Avery Ortiz was 2-for-4, knocked in two runs and scored once. For Taylor, starting pitcher Aidan Steele went 2-for-3, scored twice and knocked in a run.
Guayama, Puerto Rico 4, Medicine Hat, Alberta 0: The Puerto Rico national champions from the Radames Lopez Little League in Guayama shut out the debuting Canadian national champions from Medicine Hat Little League in Alberta, 4-0. Puerto Rico scored three runs in the fourth inning. Nathan Martinez went 3-for-4. Five Puerto Rico pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout. Canada stranded the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
Melbourne, Florida 15, Berlin, Maryland 2: vs. The USA Southeastern champions from the Viera/Suntree Little League in Florida scored 10 runs in the second inning and rolled to a 15-2 win over the USA East champions from Berlin, Maryland. Florida’s Apollos Horrell went 3-for-3, walked, scored three runs, had two runs batted in and was one of four pitchers to combine on a two-hitter. Teammate Logan Keith also went 3-for-3, scored twice and had three RBI. Lucas Glendenning went 2-for-4, knocked in three runs and scored a run. The game ended after five innings on the 10-run mercy rule.
Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei 10, Perth, Western Australia 0: Pan Hsiang-Yu hit the first home run of the 2019 Junior League Baseball World Series as the Asia-Pacific champions from Chinese Taipei began their attempt at a seventh straight JLWS title. Pan and Hsu Ting-Lun combined on a one-hitter. The game was stopped in the bottom of the fifth inning on the 10-run mercy rule.