Game 17
Latin America 21

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
4:00PM ET

Latin America Pours It On
Venezuela improves to 2-0 after a shower of hits

By Andrew Schimmel
Special Correspondent

The rain might have dampened the field at Lamade Stadium, but it certainly didn’t dampen the offense of the Latin America champs.

Venezuela’s bats came out on fire against the EMEA representatives from Apeldoorn, Netherlands, using three home runs in the first inning and five overall en route to a 21-2 mercy-rule shortened victory in front of 1,800 Little League fans.

The 21 runs scored by the youngsters from Maracaibo, Venezuela are the most by one team at the Little League Baseball World Series since Chinese Taipei scored 21 against Canada on August 21, 1996. The Far East region champs won 21-2 that day over Surrey, British Columbia, a team that included current Baltimore Orioles pitcher Adam Loewen.

Venezuela scored six in the first, 12 in the second and three in the third, using 19 hits in all. The 12-run second inning featured Omar Villalobos’ second two-run homer of the game and a three-run blast by Miguel Romero, who also hit a solo shot in the first.

Venezuela starter Reinaldo Amaro limited the Dutch squad to two hits and one earned run in three-plus innings of work. He struck out five in addition to going 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored at the plate.

“Perfect,” Amaro said of his performance on both sides of the ball through translator Dr. Luis Sanchez.

EMEA coach Casper Coffie was honest in his assessment of the game.

“I thought (the weather) would help us today because the pitcher throws a knuckle and a curve but because the ball was wet, we were stuck only throwing fastballs,” he said. “I mean, look at their hitting. It’s incredible. So have fun, do your best”

After seeing their first two batters retired in the first, the Venezuela All-Stars watched their next seven batters reach base in an inning which included six runs on six hits, along with back-to-back homers from Villalobos and Romero.

Their hot start allowed the team to sit comfortably on a lead that only increased as the game progressed. Such was not the case on Friday in their game against Asia-Pacific when they eeked out a 2-1 pitchers’ duel win on a walk-off hit by Romero.

Romero confessed through translator Dr. Luis Sanchez that it was not the first time that he had bookended a back-to-back home run display, given that “Back-to-Back” was the nickname he received after the first time he accomplished the feat in April during the Venezuelan national tournament.

The Latin American team was anxious to get on the field after all of Monday’s games were pushed back a day due to the rain that has soaked South Williamsport for the last two days. They spent the day off playing an improvised version of baseball in their dorm, using a ping pong ball as a baseball and a slipper in place of a bat.

The La Victoria All-Stars are now 2-0 in Pool D and are in control of their own destiny.


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