NOTE: 2016 JLWS IN REVIEW
The field was narrowed by two teams on Wednesday as six remain in contention for the world championship in the 36th annual Junior League Baseball World Series at Taylor’s Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Road.
The six teams will compete on Thursday. Heavy rain on caused two of Wednesday’s games to be postponed a day due to field conditions.
Four games are scheduled for Thursday. The contests will set up the USA and International championship matchups on Saturday.
11 a.m. – Mexican national champion from the Guadalupe Linda Vista Little League in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon (1-1) vs. Asia-Pacific champion from the Shing-Ming Junior Little League in Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei (2-0)
2 p.m. – USA West champion Kawaihau Little League from Kapaa, Hawaii (1-0) vs. USA Southeast champion from Northwood Little League in Taylors, South Carolina (2-0)
5 p.m. – Latin America champion Tomas Munoz Little League from Juan Diaz, Panama (2-1) vs. Loser of 11 a.m. game
8 p.m. – USA Southwest champion Padre Little League from Corpus Christi, Texas (1-1) vs. Loser of 2 p.m. game
The winners of the 11 a.m. game and the 5 p.m. game play for the International championship at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The winners of the 2 p.m. game and the 8 p.m. game play for the USA championship at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The International and USA champions play for the world championship at 1 p.m. Sunday. That game will be broadcast live by ESPN.
All other games can be viewed and heard free via streaming video at www.ustream.tv/channel/jlws.
For updates throughout the games, visit the World Series website at www.cityoftaylor.com or follow the progress via Facebook at www.facebook.com/juniorleagueworldseries.
Admission to the World Series for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the globe is $5 per carload per day, including 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.
The Junior League World Series was founded in Taylor by Greg Bzura and a group of Little League volunteers in 1981 at the Taylor South Little League – and has remained in Taylor ever since. Bzura remains tournament director, working with hundreds of volunteers.
The international tournament started with four USA teams and has grown to 11 teams from around the world – the biggest field of teams in the history of the event. The national champion of Australia was granted an automatic berth for the first time.
There was a major change this year in the “modified double-elimination” format that was mandated by Little League International. Once a team loses two games in the tournament, it is out of contention for the world championship and plays crossover consolation games between USA and International teams the rest of the week.
Once four teams are left, two teams play one game to determine the International and USA champions on Saturday, followed by the world championship game on Sunday.
Juan Diaz, Panama (Latin America) 7, Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada) 5: The Latin America champions from Panama took the must-win game, defeating Canadian national champions from Lethbridge, Alberta, 7-5, in the Wednesday opener at Heritage Park. Panama improves to 2-1 and plays next at 5 p.m. Thursday against Mexico or Chinese Taipei. Canada falls to 1-2 and plays next in a crossover consolation game. Down 5-3, Panama scored three runs in the fifth inning and one in the seventh to seal the win. Centerfielder Eduardo Vaughan went 3-for-4, scored twice and knocked in a run. Third baseman Krysnar Grandison also went 3-for-4 and scored three runs. Relief pitcher Adrian Sugastey (5) shut down Canada's offense, allowing just three hits while striking out five during 4 2/3 innings. For Canada, Levi Abbott went 3-for-4, scored a run and had an RBI. Noah Waters went 2-for-3 and knocked in two runs.
Corpus Christi, Texas (USA Southwest) 2, Midland, Michigan (USA Central) 2: The USA Southwest champion from Texas stayed alive in the World Series with a thrilling 2-1 win over the USA Central champions from Midland, Michigan. The win left the Padre Little League in Corpus Christi with a 1-1 record. The team's next game is at 8 p.m. Thursday against either Hawaii or South Carolina. Michigan fell to 1-2 and heads for the crossover consolation games. Texas scored a run in each of the first two innings and then held on as Michigan came back with one in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Jacob Stone and threatened to score in the seventh. J.T. Zepeda went 4-for-4. Zepeda, Matthew Krall, J.R. Guervara and Alex Pena gave up two hits apiece on the mound. James Harris went 3-for-4 for Michigan.
The other two scheduled games on Wednesday were postponed due to field conditions caused by heavy rains. They have been rescheduled for Thursday.
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.
Despite the cancellation of two games on Wednesday, teams, fans and the community was invited to enjoy the World Series fireworks – and the show went on as planned…
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 email@example.com.