Bunt pushes Hilo to 2-0 win in opener

Cal Ripken World Series


Tiny came up big while home runs were the order yesterday at the opening of the seventh Cal Ripken 12-and-under World Series in Aberdeen.

At least one homer was hit in four of six games, two of them game-winners, but it was a bunt by one of the smallest players in the tournament, 3-foot-7 Anson Arruda, that carried defending champion Hilo, Hawaii, to a 2-0 victory over Kennewick, Wash.

Hilo and Kennewick opened the series in the first game ever played at the Ripken Academy's Fenway field, which has a mini- Green Monster in left field.

The six-inning opener was scoreless until the top of the fifth when Hilo loaded the bases with no outs. Pinch hitter Arruda's bunt single put runners on first and second to set up the inning that was capped by Kean Wong's single to left that would make it 1-0.

Winning pitcher Kawika Pruett hit an opposite-field homer to right for an insurance run in the last inning, but Hilo manager Kaha Wong was eager to talk about Arruda.

"That bunt was the difference in the game," Wong said. "Anson is our spark plug."

Arruda got into an exaggerated squat that gave pitcher Franky Murillo (seven strikeouts) a strike zone of less than 12 inches. But Arruda was not up there to draw a walk. He was up there to earn his way on and did.

"It was my job to get it down and move the runner," Arruda said.

Miguel Perez homered to left in the bottom of the fifth to give the Dominican Republic a 1-0 victory over Canada while a two-run homer by winning pitcher Edson Blanco lifted Mexico over the Republic of Korea.

Both those homers were hit at the Ripken Academy's Wrigley field, which has a brick-wall backstop as its main characteristic.

And Oliver Powers homered for the only run of Newtown, Conn., in a 2-1 loss to Bryant, Ark. Jordan Taylor doubled in both runs by the victors.

Vi Ripken, the widow of Cal Ripken Sr., threw the first pitch for the final two games last night at Cal Sr.'s Yard, which is modeled after Camden Yards.

Satsuma scored three times in the first and went on to rout Missouri, 10-0. (Scores, 4D)

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