Today’s five games will determine final four in Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor

TAYLOR, MICHIGAN – Today is the final day of round-robin pool play at the Junior League Baseball World Series at Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan. Five games will determine the finalists for the International and USA championships:

●Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei vs. Willemstad, Curacao, 9 a.m.
●Massapequa, New York vs. Bedford, Indiana, Noon
●Brno, Czech Republic vs. Willemstad, Curacao, 2:45 p.m.
●Calgary, Alberta, Canada vs. Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei, 5:30 p.m.
●Lafayette, Louisiana vs. Rio Rico, Arizona, 8:15 p.m.

On Wednesday night, Goodlettsville, Tennessee became the first team to qualify for the USA Championship game. A walk-off bases-loaded single to right field by Dylan Kelly scored Terron Smith in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Massapequa, New York 5-4.

New York had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the eighth, but an attempted suicide squeeze bunt was foiled when Tennessee pitcher Drew Cummings caught a pop-up and threw to third baseman Dalton Hall, who tagged third base to double off the runner who had charged home.

"That was a momentum changer right there," said Tennessee Manager Tommy Biggerstaff.

The victory gave the USA Southeast champions from Tennessee a 3-1 win and a spot in the USA championship game at 7 p.m. Friday. Tennessee will play the winner of today’s final game between Lafayette, Louisiana and Rio Rico, Arizona. Both teams are 2-1.

Arizona had two come-from-behind wins on Wednesday in the World Series. The USA West Region champions defeated New York and Bedford, Indiana, each by a 2-1 score.

In the first game, Arizona’s Samuel Legleu Jr. and Angel Chavez scored in the bottom of the sixth to erase a 1-0 New York lead. In the nightcap, Legleu scored in the top of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie. Oscar Lechuga Jr. earned the win in the early game. Brian Garcia picked up the victory in the second game with Miguel Escobar earning the save.

The Asia-Pacific champions from Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei scored 13 runs in the second inning and rolled to a 15-0 win over Manati, Puerto Rico, in the day’s opening game. Chinese Taipei and Willemstad, Curacao, are 2-0 and on top of the World Series International Pool. They play at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Puerto Rico recovered for a 3-2 win over Brno, Czech Republic when Christian Velez doubled home Hector Torres and Oscar Figueroa to break a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning. A solo home run by Ondrej Furko in the sixth wasn’t enough for the European champions, who fell to 1-2. Puerto Rico finished pool play at 2-2.

USA Pool
Goodlettsville, Tennessee    3-1
Lafayette, Louisiana        2-1
Rio Rico, Arizona            2-1
Bedford, Indiana            1-2
Massapequa Park, New York    0-3

International Pool
Willemstad, Curacao        2-0
Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei    2-0
Manati, Puerto Rico        2-2
Brno, Czech Republic        1-2
Calgary, Alberta, Canada    0-3

Friday’s schedule
International Championship Game, 4 p.m.
USA Championship Game, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule
World Championship Game, 2 p.m.

Games are played on World Series Field at Taylor’s Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Road. Admission is $5 per day per carload – or $10 for a weeklong pass. Both prices include parking.

The 33rd annual world tournament for 13- and 14-year-old ballplayers is the “older brother” of the more famous Little League World Series for 12-year-olds played in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. When players turn 13 and 14, they can compete in Taylor.

Games are streamed on the Internet at www.justin.tv/jlws_mi. Fans also can follow the games at www.gamechanger.io. Search for “Junior League World Series.”

The World Series finale will be broadcast live by ESPN on its website www.ESPN3.com. The game will be replayed on television on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 21.

For more information on the Junior League World Series, visit the website www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries or follow all year long on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juniorleagueworldseries.