Bronx opens with strong showing

Backed by good support, New York team wins, 3-0, over club from Missouri

Youth Baseball

August 14, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

With strong parent support, the National Foundation of Hispanic Americans from the Bronx is making its inaugural appearance in the Cal Ripken 12-and-under World Series in Aberdeen.

The Bronx contingent is one big happy family.

The Bronx team, made up of all Hispanic players, coaches, parents and fans, opened with an impressive 3-0 victory over Jackson, Mo., yesterday at Memorial Field.

"All of our kids take baseball seriously because their parents do," Bronx manager Rico Pena said.

"We use baseball to encourage success in education. We all believe that the game of baseball is about life, and we use it to teach our kids the right priorities. We are thrilled to be here at the Ripken fields and we met Cal and he has a genuine interest in spending time with the kids."

Ripken baseball sent a bus to the Bronx to bring the team to Aberdeen to play in its first World Series in 12-and-under. The Bronx organization, run by commissioner Rose Perdomo placed its 10-, 16- and 18-year-old teams in regionals this year.

Danny Almonte, the left-hander whose team forfeited its third-place finish in the 2001 Little League World Series because he was overage, was a member of the 18-year old team.

Yesterday, Angel Zapata pitched a one-hitter with four strikeouts and no walks against Jackson. Third baseman Harold Fich homered.

"Angel doesn't know what walk means," Pena said. "He's just like all of our pitchers."

Zapata was thrilled to pitch in Aberdeen and said, "We don't have any stadium like this to play on in the Bronx.

"We don't have anything near as nice. It's really great here, and it's what we need."

Shortstop Jhosse Estrella, who had a hit and scored a run, said the fields at home "are uneven with broken fences."

Assistant coach Jose Javier said the kids in their program don't play because of quality fields, but because of the supportive parents.

"We have parents who drive three hours from their jobs in New York City to watch their kids play and then go back," said Javier, who like most of the team had never been to the Aberdeen area.

"Quite a few of the parents made the trip down here to Aberdeen because they understand the importance of letting our kids know they are behind them."

NOTES: In other action yesterday, Oahu, Hawaii, opened with a 3-1 victory over Willamette Valley, Ore., on a combined no-hitter by Kewby Meyer and Jordan Deponpe. Meyer went five innings with 10 strikeouts, while Deponpe pitched the sixth and final inning. ... Canada blanked Australia, 7-0.... Five games are on tap today with two-time defending champion, Mexico playing the Dominican Republic, 2 p.m., at Memorial Field. ... The last two games at 6 and 8, will be in Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Ripken World Series

Round-robin schedule

Games played at Cal Sr.'s Yard (C), Memorial field (M) and Wrigley field (W)

Friday

Lexington, Ky. 4, Hickory Fountain Green 0

Yesterday

Oahu, Hawaii 3, Willamette Valley, Ore. 1 Bronx, N.Y. 3, Jackson, Mo. 0 Australia 7, Canada 0 Dominican Republic 2, Republic of Korea 1

Today

Bronx, N.Y. vs. Lexington, Ky., 1 p.m. (W) Dominican Republic vs. Mexico, 2 p.m. (M) Hickory Fountain Green vs. Raleigh, N.C., 4 p.m. (W) Calvert County vs. Meridian, Miss., 6 p.m. (C) Marblehead, Mass., vs. Oahu, Hawaii, 8 p.m. (C)

Tomorrow

Republic of Korea vs. Australia, 1 p.m. (M) Meridian, Miss., vs. Willamette Valley, Ore., 2 p.m. (W) Dominican Republic vs. Canada, 4 p.m. (M) Marblehead, Mass., vs. Calvert County, 5 p.m. (W) Bronx, N.Y. vs. Hickory Fountain Green, 6 p.m. (C) Raleigh, N.C. vs. Jackson, Mo., 8 p.m. (C)

Standings

American

W L Pct. GB

Lexington, Ky. 1 0 1.000 -

Bronx, N.Y. 1 0 1.000 -

Raleigh, N.C. 0 0 .000 1/2

Jackson, Mo. 0 1 .000 1

Hickory Ftn Grn 0 1 .000 1

National

W L Pct. GB

Oahu, Hawaii 1 0 1.000 -

Mrblehd, Mass. 0 0 .000 0

Merdn, Miss. 0 0 .000 0

Calvert County 0 0 .000 -

Will. Vlly, Ore. 0 1 .000 1

International

W L Pct. GB

Australia 1 0 1.000 -

Dominican Republic 1 0 1.000 -

Mexico 0 0 .000 -

Canada 0 1 .000 1

Rep. of Korea 0 1 .000 1

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