Two games today will determine the finalists for the USA and International championships at the 39th annual Junior League Baseball World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park.
At 4 p.m., the Michigan District 5 champion and host team Taylor, Michigan, plays the USA Southeast region champions from the Viera Suntree Little League from Melbourne, Florida. Both teams are 2-1 in the World Series. The winner advances to the USA championship game at 6 p.m. Friday vs. the West region champions from the Golden Hill Little League from Fullerton, California.
At 7 p.m., the Latin America champions from the Guadalupe Trevino Kelly Little League in Reynosa, Mexico, play the Puerto Rico national champion from the Radames Lopez Little League in Guayama. Both teams are 2-1. The winning team advances to the International championship game at 3 p.m. Friday vs. the Asia-Pacific regional champions from the Shing-Ming Junior Little League in Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei.
The USA and International champions play for the world championship at noon Sunday.
Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road. Admission is $5 per carload per day, which includes parking.
For the first time in JLWS history, all 21 games are being shown on the ESPN family of networks. Today’s games and Friday’s 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.
The eight-day World Series is for teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the globe. The tournament is run in a “modified double-elimination format.” Teams play until they lose twice. The final four teams will play in the International or USA championship games with the winners advancing to the world championship contest.
The Junior League Baseball World Series is considered the “older brother” of the more famous Little League World Series for 12-year-olds that is played in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The tournament was founded in Taylor, Michigan, in 1981 by a group of Little League enthusiasts and volunteers – and has been played at Heritage Park ever since. Greg Bzura has remained director since its inception.
Teams that are eliminated from contention will be scheduled to play crossover consolation games. Three of those games were scheduled today with USA teams playing International teams on the Senior Field of the Taylor South Little League complex at Heritage Park.
Today’s Crossover Schedule:
9 a.m. Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada vs. Tulsa, Oklahoma
11 a.m. Bologna, Italy vs. Johnston, Iowa
1 p.m. Berlin, Maryland vs. Perth, Australia
Home Run Derby
The annual Junior League World Series Home Run Derby gets under way at noon Friday on the secondary field at the Taylor South Little League complex. Every player in the JLWS is invited to participate. Staff members pitch. The five players who hit the most home runs advance to the finals, which will take place after Friday’s 6 p.m. at World Series Field. The winner gets prizes and his photo in the program next year.
Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico 16, Perth, Western Australia 5
The Latin America champions from Mexico advanced in the Junior League Baseball World Series with a 16-5 win over the national champions of Australia. It was the second win from for the Guadalupe Trevino Kelly all-stars from Reynosa, who scored at least two runs in every inning but the sixth. Mexico had 14 hits, including three by Samuel Juarez and two each by Alejandro Gutierrez, Jesus Fonseca and Alejandro Arredondo, who hit a home run. Joshua Davies and Jacob Santich had two hits each for Australia, which ends its tournament run at 1-2.
Taylor, Michigan 5, Berlin, Maryland 1
Michigan District 5 and Host team Taylor, Michigan, has defeated a second USA regional champion and will play another day in the Junior League Baseball World Series. Taylor defeated USA East champion Berlin, Maryland, 5-1. Taylor is a team made up of all-stars from the Taylor Northeast, Northwest and North Central Little League. Taylor built a 5-0 lead and Berlin added a run in the seventh. Taylor’s David Roberts held Maryland to four hits over six innings pitched. Andrew Thorning had two hits for Taylor and teammate Cole Loftis had two runs batted in and closed out the game on the mound. The loss was the second by Berlin, which is out of contention.
Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei 5, Guayama, Puerto Rico 1
The Asia-Pacific champions from Chinese Taipei won their third straight game of the Junior League Baseball World Series, defeating the national champions of Puerto Rico, 5-1. Seeking a seventh straight world championship for teams from Chinese Taipei, the Shing-Ming Junior Little League all-stars scored single runs in the first and second innings. Puerto Rico cut the gap in half on a fourth-inning home run by Yahir Fonseca, but Chinese Taipei scored two in the bottom of the fourth and added an insurance run in the sixth. Pitchers Wang Yen-En, Wang Wei-Lun and Wu Ching-En combined on a four-hitter. Wang Wei-Lun and Lee Hsun-Chieh had two hits apiece. It was the first loss in three games for Puerto Rico, which plays Mexico at 7 p.m. Thursday. The winner of that game plays Chinese Taipei (3-0) plays in the International championship game at 3 p.m. Friday.
Fullerton, California 12, Melbourne, Florida 5
The Golden Hill Little League in Fullerton, California, earned a spot in Friday night’s USA championship game of the Junior League Baseball World Series. The unbeaten USA West regional champions defeated the Southeast champs from the Viera Suntree Little League in Melbourne, Florida, 12-5, in Wednesday’s late-night game. The Southern California state champs took an 8-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning when the Florida state champs fought back with five runs. Golden Hill scored four more in the bottom of the sixth, including a three-run homer by Walker Calvo. Eric Jeon also homered and had two RBI in the game. Teammates Kyle Kim and DJ Garcia had two hits apiece. Russell Yang and Jack Bender scored two runs each. Conor Sunderland had two RBI. Florida (2-1) plays at 4 p.m. Thursday against host team Taylor, Michigan (2-1). The winner of that game plays California (2-0) for the USA championship at 6 p.m. Friday.
4 p.m. Taylor, Michigan vs. Melbourne, Florida
7 p.m. Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico vs. Guayama, Puerto Rico
Noon Home Run Derby
3 p.m. International Championship Game: Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei vs. Mexico or Puerto Rico
6 p.m. USA Championship Game: Fullerton, California vs. Taylor, Michigan or Melbourne, Florida
After the 6 p.m. Game: Home Run Derby Finals
Crossover Consolation Games, TBD
Crossover Consolation Games, TBD
Noon World Championship Game: International Champion vs. USA Champion
Story by Dave Gorgon
Picture by Rob Allor