Lafayette rallies to win at LLWS

Posted: Monday, August 22, 2005

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Call them the comeback kids.

Andrew Stevenson reached base on a bunt single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, then scored from third on a throwing error to help Lafayette, La., overcome a seven-run deficit in a 9-8 victory over Owensboro (Ky.) Southern on Sunday in the Little League World Series.

On Saturday against Westbrook, Maine, Lafayette (2-0) scored three times in the sixth to overcome a 2-0 deficit and win 3-2. Connor Toups, one of the smallest players on Lafayette at 4-foot-10 and 78 pounds, drove in the winning run in the sixth.

On Sunday, Lafayette manager Mike Conrad said he called for Stevenson, who is the same height but is five pounds heavier, to bunt to take advantage of his speed.

‘‘Today I told him to just get set, make sure the ball is down and then take off,’’ Conrad said.

Stevenson then advanced to third and scored on a throwing error after teammate Andreas Duplantis hit a grounder to short. Stevenson also had two hits.

‘‘He may be the fastest player up here,’’ Conrad said.

In other contests on Sunday, West Oahu of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, downed Davenport (Iowa) Northwest, 7-3; Guam shut out Canada 5-0; and Japan blanked the defending champs, Curacao, 9-0; and Rancho Bueno Vista of Vista, Calif., defeated Westbrook 7-3.

Lafayette, Rancho Bueno Vista and West Oahu all clinched berths into the next round of the 10-day tournament.

Owensboro (0-2), the Great Lakes region winner, raced out to an 8-1 lead by the bottom of the third inning on Dalton West’s two-run homer down the left-field line and Luke Daugherty’s three-run shot.

Lafayette, the Southwest champion, took over from there. Down 8-4 in the fifth, Lafayette tied the game on Alex Miller’s single.

Rancho Bueno Vista 7, Westbrook, Maine 3

Kalen Pimentel smacked the first pitch from Westbrook, Maine reliever Joey Royer soaring over the center field fence for a grand slam in the fifth inning to lead Rancho Bueno Vista (2-0), the West winners.

Pimentel, who had tied a Little League World Series record for a six-inning game with 18 strikeouts on Saturday, came up with the bases loaded Sunday after Nathan Lewis reached first because of an error.

Pimentel then hit his home run that landed a quarter of the way up the grassy hill beyond the outfield wall. Chants of ‘‘RBV! RBV!’’ cascaded down from the crowd.

The soft-spoken Pimentel said that his manager, Marty Miller, told him ‘‘I don’t care where you hit it, as long as you put it in play.’’

Michael Mowatt homered to straightaway center for Westbrook (0-2), the New England champs.

West Oahu 7, Davenport (Iowa) Northwest 3

West Oahu (2-0), the Northwest champion, used early homers to jump out to a 7-0 lead, then held off a late rally to defeat Davenport (0-2), the Midwest winner.

Vonn Fe’ao and Quentin Guevara hit back-to-back solo shots that that easily cleared the left-field fence 205 feet away from home plate.

After each blast, the ball rolled down a short grassy hill and fans chased after the souvenirs. Davenport coach Ed Grothus said his pitcher, Kyle Franklin, pitched well overall but lost command of his breaking balls on the home runs.

‘‘My grandmother, if she were still alive, could probably hit a ball that far, God bless her soul,’’ Grothus said.

Davenport scored in top of the sixth off a Spencer Mallonee homer and two runs off an error and a wild pitch, but Fe’ao came on in relief to strike out Ryan Cartee to end the game. Guam 5, Canada 0

Sean Manley struck out six and allowed just one hit and Trae Santos had a steal and two hits as Mangilao-Barrigada, Guam (2-0) shut out Surrey, British Columbia (1-1), the Canada region champion.

Manley had a perfect game until the fourth inning, when Talon Van Horn singled to center for Canada. Santos had an RBI single in the first, while Gerald Borja singled home a run during a two-run third inning for Guam, the Pacific winner. Japan 9, Curacao 0

Yusuke Taira struck out 13 batters and allowed just three hits and also hit a solo home run to lead Chiba City, Japan (2-0) over defending Little League champion Willemstad, Curacao (1-1).

Japan, this year’s Asia region champs, took advantage of Takuya Sakamoto’s single and consecutive walks to Kisho Watanabe and Yuki Mizuma to load the bases in the first inning against Curacao, which returned to South Williamsport this year by winning the Caribbean division.

Curacao pitcher Dienston Manuela allowed two runs to score on wild pitches and an error brought a third run home for Japan.



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