Mexico, Lexington win before rain hits

Kennewick, Greenwich stopped in fifth inning, will be resumed today

Cal Ripken World Series notebook

Baseball

August 15, 2004|By Pat O'Malley and Adam Schlenoff | Pat O'Malley and Adam Schlenoff,SUN STAFF

Tropical Storm Charley stayed away from opening day of the Cal Ripken World Series at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen yesterday until the third game.

The rain started falling in the bottom of the fifth inning of the 12-and-under tournament as Kennewick, Wash., was collecting hits and runs to overcome an 8-1 deficit at the hands of Greenwich, Conn. Kennewick cut it to 8-6 with two outs and a man on when play was stopped and the tarp put on the field.

Play never resumed and the Kennewick-Greenwich game will pick up at the point of stoppage and be completed at Cal Sr.'s Yard (next door to Ripken Stadium) at 9 a.m. today.

Yesterday's last two scheduled games were postponed: Australia and the Dominican Republic will be played at 9 a.m. tomorrow and Churchville and Raleigh, N.C., will go at 9 this morning at Ripken Stadium.

Defending champion Mexico opened with a 4-2 victory over the Republic of Korea in the second game of opening day. Moo-Jong Kim hit a two-run homer over the left-field fence with two outs in the top of the sixth and final inning to spoil Mexico's shutout.

Mexico's starting pitcher, Gustavo Dominguez, threw a five-hitter, striking out eight and at one point retiring nine batters in a row. "I was nervous in the first inning," said Dominguez. "I felt better late in the game. I was getting comfortable."

Dominguez received offensive production from third baseman Ivan Tinoco, who ripped a two-run single in the first to give Mexico the lead.

"I wanted to go for the big one, but I was happy to get a base hit," said Tinoco.

Assistant coach Othon Corona was glad to see the left side of the infield get the big hits in the clutch.

"We needed our shortstop [Christian Alvarez] and our third-baseman [Tinoco] to step up and hit some more. This year we have great pitching, but we'll have to hit a little more," said Corona.

Together, the left side of the infield combined for two hits and all four Mexico runs.

Dominguez likes Mexico's chances to repeat as Ripken World Series champion.

"We have a very good team," Dominguez said. "And once we get used to the speed of fastballs, we will be very good."

Et cetera

Ben Pelham hit a two-run homer for Lexington, Ky., in its 11-6 slugfest over Montgomery, N.J., in the first game of the day. Lexington scored 11 runs on nine hits. ... St. Mary's County makes its debut in the World Series at 8 tonight against Greenwich, Conn. St. Mary's is the Maryland state champion. ... Making his debut with his team, Pine Bluff, Ark., is Claude Johnson, who won the home run derby Friday night with six homers in each of the first and final rounds. Pine Bluff opens vs. Oahu, Hawaii.

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