Mexico boots Puerto Rico from LLWS
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The Valentin family has accomplished a rare baseball double play.
One month, two world series.
Less than two weeks after former major leaguer Jose Valentin, Jr., helped coach a team of 15- and 16-year-olds from Puerto Rico to the Pony Baseball Colt World Series title in Indiana, his father, Jose Sr., coached a team of 11 to 13-year-olds at perhaps the most well-known tournament in youth sports – the Little League World Series.
The elder Valentin didn’t have as much luck after Manati, Puerto Rico lost to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, 4-2, Monday.
The loss didn’t spoil his enthusiasm for being in South Williamsport. Not only were Jose Jr., and another son and major leaguer, Javier Valentin, watching in the stands, but Valentin also coached three grandsons at the Little League World Series.
“I want to come back again to Williamsport – soon,” he said through interpreter Antonio Gonzalez.
In other early games Monday, Kaoshiung, Taiwan routed Vancouver, British Columbia 23-0; and Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany beat Plymouth, Minn., 2-1.
Rain delayed the Puerto Rico-Mexico game 70 minutes. The Ohio-Georgia game postponed Monday night will be restarted and played Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Connecticut-Washington game scheduled for Monday night will be played at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Games originally scheduled for 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday were pushed to Wednesday.
Puerto Rico had a sloppy exit from the series after committing seven errors. The go-ahead run by Mexico’s Aaron Juarez scored in the fifth after catcher Victor Valentin, one of the skipper’s grandsons, mishandled a throw to the plate with the bases loaded.
“With seven errors, no team is going to win,” the manager said.
Eduardo Mata struck out 11 and pitched a five-hitter for Mexico. He said he was pumped after watching Juarez hustle home, motivation he used to strike out Joshuan Sandoval to the end the game.
“That’s what we needed, the motivation from that run,” Mata said through interpreter Sergio Guzman. “Each one of us kept saying to ourselves, ‘We’re going to win. We’re going to win.”‘
Jose Valentin, Jr., said father and son didn’t have a friendly wager on winning a world series. The younger Valentin coached Gurabo, Puerto Rico and his 16-year-old son, Jesmuel, to the Colt World Series.
Another son, Yomar, is on the Little League team. Victor and another player, Javier Rodriguez, are Yomar’s cousins.
“For me if it doesn’t happen, to me they’re still world champions,” Valentin, Jr., said. “I know this competition isn’t easy.”
Taiwan 23, Canada 0
Shao-Fei Huang drove in six runs and Hsun Hao Shih hit two long homers for Taiwan, which scored six runs in the first.
Huang has four doubles in the series, tying a record set by two Taiwan players in 1995. The 23 runs is the third most in a game by one team since 1992. Three Taiwan pitchers combined on a one-hitter, allowing just Matthew Reyes’ first-inning single. Germany 2, Minnesota 1
Kyle Foley scored the go-ahead run after reaching base on an overturned call to lift Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, past Plymouth, Minn., 2-1 in a Little League World Series consolation game Monday.
Foley was initially called out on a play at first in the fifth. Replay officials reversed the call after manager Gary Harrington challenged in a new wrinkle this year for the World Series replay system. He eventually scored on a passed ball.
The Germany team, made up mainly of children of U.S. military or base workers, was serenaded off the field to the theme from the movie “Top Gun.”
NOTES: Hall of Famer Dave Winfield greeted Little Leaguers and threw out the first pitch before the eventually-cancelled Ohio-Georgia game. Asked about the indictment of Roger Clemens last week on federal charges that he lied to Congress in 2008 about being injected with human growth hormone and steroids, Winfield said, “If he’s as adament as he is, he didn’t use drugs. If he did, it will be ugly.” Winfield, now and ESPN analyst, appeared on behalf of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. He said that while he tells young players to stay off performance enhancing drugs, there wasn’t enough media attention about “guys doing the right thing. … I tell them, there are a lot of good guys out there, just focus on them.”
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