Mexico, Oahu to play for Ripken title

U.S. team will try to end 20-game tourney streak of defending champion

Baseball

August 21, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

One run crowned two champions yesterday in the Cal Ripken 12-and-under World Series in Aberdeen, but only one will be crowned tonight at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Two-time defending champion Mexico won on a wild pitch for the second straight game, with Roy Orosco scoring to edge the Dominican Republic, 1-0, for the International championship.

In the United States championship game, Kalani Lagoc Crawford's homer lifted Oahu, Hawaii, over Southeast Lexington, Ky., 1-0, in seven innings.

Mexico, which has won 20 consecutive games over three years in this tournament, will defend its crown against Oahu tonight at 7:05 (Comcast SportsNet).

Mexico nipped the Republic of Korea, 3-2, on Friday on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth that scored Orosco.

In the first inning yesterday, leadoff hitter Orosco reached on an infield single and moved to second when Andres Alvarez was hit by a pitch.

Eduardo Vargas, who went all the way for the Dominicans, then sent Orosco to third and finally home on wild pitches.

Mexico left 10 runners on base and had six hits off Vargas, while Gustavo Dominguez and Axel Rios shut down the Dominicans.

"Both of our pitchers were tremendous, and we have a lot of pressure on us," said Mexico manager Bernardo Tapia, whose team won games handily the first two years and now is finding ways to win the close ones.

"I'm not referring to our offense because we had men on base but didn't get the hit. The pressure was on our defense to make the plays, and I'm proud of them. As long as we win, one run or 10 runs."

Dominguez, who struck out the last six batters in two innings of relief against Korea on Friday, threw 52 pitches, struck out nine and gave up one hit in four innings yesterday. He has 32 strikeouts in 12 innings in the series.

And with pitching restrictions lifted for the title game, he could go again today.

"I was a little tired today but didn't feel any pressure," Dominguez said.

Tapia said he likely will start Rios, who threw the last two innings yesterday and didn't give up a hit. As for using Dominguez, "It will be up to him," Tapia said.

In the U.S. game, Hawaii's Kewby Meyer and Southeast Lexington's Trevor Gott were jockeyed back and forth to the mound by their respective managers, Gerald Oda and Kenny Gant, through the first five innings.

Gott was eligible to pitch in four innings and did so, striking out eight and giving up one hit to finish the series with 31 strikeouts in 12 innings.

Meyer pitched five innings.

His last inning was the bottom of the sixth and he got the win when Crawford homered to deep left-center off Devin Jackson in the top of the seventh with one out.

"It was a curveball inside and as I was going around the bases I was hoping we could hold them," Crawford said.

Oda inserted Jordan Deponte in the bottom of the seventh, and he retired Southeast Lexington in order.

"The fact that we were here last year ... we knew what to expect, and it really helped us prepare the kids," Oda said.

Mexico 1, Dominican Republic 0

Dominican Rep. 000 000 - 0 1 0 Mexico 100 00x - 1 6 0

Vargas and Paredes; Dominguez, Rios (4) and Islava. 3B: DR-Penaldo.

Oahu, Hawaii 1, SE Lexington, Ky. 0 (7)

Oahu 000 000 1 - 1 7 1 SE Lexington 000 000 0 - 0 4 0

Meyer, Deponte (4), Meyer (5), Deponte (7) and Kalohelani; Gott, Hoagland (3), Gott (3), Hoagland (5), Jackson (6) and Broome. 2B: O-Meyer. HR: O-Crawford.

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