Series rolls on

Kid's play

Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2000

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Jay Ponciano pitched a two-hitter, and Dustin Corl hit a two-run homer as Vancouver, Wash., beat Bellaire, Texas, 5-0 in the Little League World Series on Monday night.

Ponciano was dominating, striking out seven while walking one, and never allowing a runner past second base.

Earlier, Julian Vandervelde's two-run homer keyed Davenport to a 5-0 victory over winless Goffstown. Ruben Mavarez pitched a two-hitter as Maracaibo, Venezuela, evened its record at 1-1 with a 3-0 win over Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. And Tokyo improved to 2-0 -- and all but mathematically clinched a spot in the pool final -- by hanging on for a 9-8 victory over Toronto.

Vandervelde, 6-foot-2 and 231 pounds, carried a big bat for Davenport, which marked the U.S. Central region's first Series win since 1996.

Ahead 1-0, the first baseman slammed a two-run, 239-foot shot off the hedges beyond the center-field wall in the third inning.

''We grow them big,'' Davenport manager Matt Kolar said. ''I don't know how many teams have one guy that can put the ball out of the park every other time up if you're not careful. And that's big because runs are hard to come by.''

Davenport added two more runs in the fifth, while starter Dan O'Donnell -- 10-0 in All-Star play -- went the distance, throwing a two-hitter and striking out seven.

Michael Mitchell had a hit and scored three runs.

''I thought it was going to hit the fence when it first went off the bat, because I usually don't hit line drives all that far,'' said Vandervelde, who failed to hit a homer in seven regional tournament games. ''But yeah, I'm glad it went anyway.''

Including Sunday's 3-0 loss to Bellaire, Goffstown has managed just three hits in the Series.

''These are the best pitchers in the country and we're having a hard with the mixing (of pitches),'' Goffstown manager Frank Szumiesz said. ''We've just got to refocus.''

Maracaibo may have won, but manager Eduvino Quevedo wasn't pleased with his team's sputtering offense.

In two games, the Venezuelans have stranded 14 runners.

''They're expecting a better pace out of themselves on the offensive side,'' Quevedo said through interpreter Micah Hughes. ''It's his bats, he doesn't know, he's trying to figure it out.''

Juan Figueroa had two hits and drove in a run, while Mavarez had a hit and RBI.

Philip Hecht doubled and Chris Griffith singled for Dhahran, playing its Series opener.

Pitcher Riley Arp allowed eight hits, but was undone by two errors that led to Maracaibo's three-run second inning.

Dhahran manager Al Griffith blamed ''butterflies'' on his team's early miscues.

The day's first game was the most exciting as Toronto's six-run, sixth-inning rally -- capped by Julian Olibera's two-out, three-run homer -- fell one run short against Tokyo.

Daiki Ichimura, the second reliever of the inning, got Ozzie Diaz to pop out to second baseman Yuusaku Nakanishi to end the game.

Despite the loss, Toronto manager David Trimble was bolstered by the way his team didn't give up.

''Let me put it this way. We'd love to have a shot at Japan again in the playoff game,'' Trimble said, referring to Thursday's International Pool final.

Tokyo starter Kazuma Yamada threw a three-hitter, smacked two home runs and drove in six runs, giving him a Series-high eight RBIs in two games.

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