Pimentel fans 18 batters

Posted: Sunday, August 21, 2005

SOUTH WILLIAMS-PORT, Pa. — Kalen is most definitely spelled with a ‘‘K.’’

Kalen Pimentel tied a Little League World Series record for a regulation, six-inning game with 18 strikeouts to lead Rancho Bueno Vista of Vista, Calif., to a 7-2 victory over Owensboro (Ky.) Southern in the Little League World Series on Saturday.

‘‘It took me a couple of innings to get adjusted and I started to get in a groove about the fourth inning,’’ Pimentel said. ‘‘My fastball and curve were really working well.’’

The feat was last accomplished in 1979 by Chao-An Chen of the Pu-Tzu Town team from Taiwan.

Nathan Lewis had three hits including a home run for Rancho Bueno Vista (1-0), the West region champion, while Luke Daugherty homered for Owensboro Southern (0-1), the Great Lakes winner.

Pimentel’s pitching highlighted the busiest day of the 10-day tournament — six games in two stadiums all scheduled to start within a nine-hour span on Saturday.

In other games, Chiba City, Japan, shut out Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 3-0; defending world series champs Curacao downed Venezuela 5-4 in eight innings; Canada blanked Mexico 2-0; Maitland, Fla., beat Council Rock-Newtown of Newtown, Pa., 3-1; and Lafayette, La., rallied to overcome Westbrook, Maine, 3-2.

Connor Toups provided the big hit for Lafayette, singling to left past a drawn-in infield to scored two runs.

After the game, Toups didn’t say much — he’s only 11, after all — but he did smile a lot.

‘‘I went up there looking to get a hit. He threw me a fastball,’’ said Toups, who at 4-foot-10 and 78 pounds is one of the smallest boys on Lafayette (1-0), the Southwest champs. ‘‘It felt good.’’

Westbrook starter Ryan Murphy held Lafayette scoreless until the sixth when Murphy failed to retire a batter. On Toups’ winning hit, Jace Conrad raced around from second base and pumped his fist after sliding home.

Nick Finocchiaro and Michael Mowatt homered for Westbrook (0-1), the New England champion,

Both teams played great defense.

In the first inning, with a runner on first, Lafayette second baseman Brenn Conrad turned a double play by grabbing a relay toss barehanded, stepping on second and then throwing to first for the second out.

‘‘It was like if we don’t hit it over the fence they were going to make the play,’’ Westbrook manager Richard Knight said.

Maitland, Fla. 3, Council Rock-Newtown 1

Dante Bichette, Jr. started a two-run, first-inning rally and added an insurance run in the fifth with a solo homer to lead Maitland, Fla., the Southeast champs, past Council Rock-Newtown of Newtown, Pa., the Mid-Atlantic winners.

Bichette, Jr.’s first-pitch homer cleared the hedges beyond the left-field fence to give Maitland a 3-1 lead and raise boisterous cheers of ‘‘Let’s go Maitland.’’

Bichette, Jr.’s father, former major leaguer Dante Bichette, is a coach for Maitland (2-0).

Council Rock-Newtown (0-2) threatened in the fifth inning after Michael Festa scored from third with the bases loaded on a groundout by Blaise Lezynski.

But Maitland pitcher Skip Kovar got the next hitter, Daniel Denton to groundout to third.

Curacao 5, Venezuela 4, eight innings

Rudmichaell Brandao raced home on a sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run to give Willemstad, Curacao (1-0) the win over Valencia, Venezuela (0-1) in the first extra-inning game of this year’s series.

With the bases loaded and one out, Sorick Liberia hit a fly ball to center field. Brandeo took off after the catch and the throw appeared to arrive at home plate at the same time but it bounced away from the catcher.

‘‘I thought the runner left early, but you never know what the umpire saw,’’ said Richard Alvarez, manager of Venezuela, the Latin America champs.

Alvarez’ son, Richard Jr., hit a grand slam in the fifth inning for Venezuela, the Latin America champs, to tie the game at 4.

Liberia also homered and singled for Curacao, this year’s Caribbean champs.

Japan 3, Saudi Arabia 0

Takuya Sakamoto threw a two-hitter and started a decisive three-run third inning with a double. Sakamoto struck out 11 in going all the way for Chiba City (1-0), the Asia champion. Alexander Robinett struck out six and allowed six hits for Dhahran (0-1), the Transatlantic champion.

Canada 2, Mexico 0

Chris Fischer had four strikeouts and tossed a two-hit shutout to lift Surrey, British Columbia, the Canadian champs, over Seguro Social of Mexicali, the Mexico region winners.

Canada (1-0) scored both runs after loading the bases in the second inning. Nathan de la Feraude had an RBI single to left before Tanner Morache hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the second run.

Mexico (0-1) managed just two singles by Nordan Gomez and did not have a runner reach third base.

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