NOTE: 2016 JLWS REVIEW
Teams from Hawaii, Chinese Taipei, South Carolina and Mexico earned opening-day victories during the 36th annual Junior League Baseball World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Road.
Three more games between the world’s best teams of 13- and 14-year-old baseball players are scheduled for Monday:
1 p.m. – Latin America regional champion Tomas Munoz Little League from Juan Diaz, Panama (0-0) vs. Mexican national champion from Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon (1-0).
4 p.m. – USA Southwest champion Padre Little League from Corpus Christi Texas (0-0) vs. USA Southeast champion Northwood Little League from Taylors, South Carolina (1-0).
7 p.m. – Europe/Africa regional champion South Czech Republic Little League from Brno, Czech Republic (0-0) vs. Asia-Pacific champion Shing-Ming Junior Little League from Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei (1-0)
Admission is $5 per carload per day or $15 for a week’s pass. Both fees include parking.
The Junior League World Series is the “older brother” of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Little League series is for 12-year-olds. The Junior League series is for 13- and 14-year-olds.
In all, 11 teams from around the world are competing for the world championship – the biggest field of teams in the history of the event.
Five of the teams have Monday off but will resume play Tuesday or Wednesday. They are USA Central champion Midland Northeast/Fraternal Northwest Little Leagues from Midland, Michigan; USA West champion Kawaihau Little League from Kapaa Kauai, Hawaii; USA East champion West Salisbury Little League from Salisbury, Maryland; Australia champion Cronulla Little League from Sydney, South New Wales; and Canadian champion Lethbridge Southwest Little League from Lethbridge, Alberta. Hawaii is 1-0; the other four are 0-1.
The schedule continues with three more games on Tuesday, four games on Wednesday and two games on Thursday. The International championship game is scheduled for 3 pm. Saturday, followed by the USA title game at 6 p.m.
The International and USA champions play for the Junior League world championship at 1 p.m. Sunday, August 21. That game will be broadcast live on ESPN.
All other games can be viewed via streaming video at the free website service www.ustream.tv/channel/jlws.
Kapaa, Hawaii (USA West) 4, Salisbury, Maryland (USA East) 1: Kaimi Malina went 3-for-3 and was the winning pitcher in Hawaii’s 4-1 win over Maryland in the first game of the Junior League Baseball World Series in at Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan. Malina scored two runs while throwing a four-hitter, striking out nine and walking four. The USA West Regional champions scored two runs in the first inning and never looked back.
Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei (Asia Pacific) 5, Sydney, New Wales (Australia) 1: Chinese Taipei spoiled the debut of Australia in the Junior League Baseball World Series by winning the game 5-1. Five pitchers from the Asia-Pacific champions combined on a four-hitter. Chen Hsun Lee and Chin Cheng Liu had two RBIs each. Lee was the winning pitcher, holding Sydney, New Wales, hitless in 3 1/3 innings and striking out six. Taoyuan City is seeking the fourth straight JLWS title by teams from Chinese Taipei. Australia was granted an automatic berth in the JLWS due to the growth and popularity of Little League in the Land Down Under.
Taylors, South Carolina (USA Southeast) 8, Midland, Michigan (USA Central) 2: Hayden Stapleton’s first-inning home run and a two-run single by Braden Johnson put South Carolina up to stay en route to an 8-2 win over Michigan. The USA Southeast champions were up 5-0 before their USA Central rivals scored once in the bottom of the third. South Carolina added three insurance runs in the fifth. Johnson had three RBI in the game. Parker Kruglewicz went 2-for-2 in his team’s eight-hit attack and scored a run. Teammates Granger Pope and Garrett Dill scored two runs apiece. Winning pitcher Caden Grice struck out eight Michigan batters, walked three and allowed three hits in 5 2/3 innings. The run scored against him was unearned. Lead-off hitter Matthew Babinski went 2-for-4 for Midland. The game featured a 56-minute rain delay.
Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon (Mexico) 2, Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada) 0: Luis Rodriguez and Aldair Tellez combined on a two-hitter to lead the Mexican national champions to a 2-0 win over the Canadian national champs. Rodriguez struck out six and walked two over 5 1/3 innings. Tellez went the rest of the way, striking out two and walking one. Mexico scored all the runs needed in the first inning. Machu Quioz went 2-for-2, earning half of his team’s hits, including an RBI single. Hernan Verdugo knocked in the other run on a sacrifice fly.
For more information on the Junior League World Series, visit the website www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries or follow along on the World Series Facebook page, www.facebook.com/juniorleagueworldseries.
At least 12 former Junior League World Series competitors have gone on to professional baseball in the Major Leagues: current Philadelphia Phillies infielder Freddy Galvas, former Detroit Tiger Gary Sheffield, Eric Bedard, Brett Myers, brothers Jose and Javier Valentin, Erubiel Durazo, Chad Hermansen, Derek Bell, Delino DeShields, Shannon Withem, Adam Loewen and Chris Brock.
Other future stars to play in Taylor have included Chris Dingman and Steve Reinprecht, who went on to play in the National Hockey League; Matt Cassell, who continues to play in the National Football League; Mark “Bo” Pelini, a well-known former college football player and current coach.
The World Series operates on the generosity of sponsors, fundraising efforts and other donations, along with an all-volunteer staff. To make a tax-deductible donation or to become a series volunteer, contact Greg Bzura at (734) 306-3113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.