EASLEY—Wednesday night’s Big League World Series championship game is a matchup of two of the most successful teams in the series in the past 12 years.
The Easley-based host team representing SC District 1 (4-1) defeated Indiana, 6-2, to win the US semifinal. Puerto Rico is undefeated in this year’s series (5-0) and won the International semifinal with a 10-1 victory over Venezuela. The final two teams meet in the championship game at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the JB “Red” Owens Recreation Complex. The game will be televised live by ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
Easley has reached at least the semifinals in nine of the 12 years the tournament has been here. Easley is making its fifth trip to the championship game and has won all four previous times it has been in the final game.
Puerto Rico is in the finals for the third straight year, losing to a Greenville, SC team last year and winning the tournament in 2010. Puerto Rico also won the tournament in 2002.
The host team has shown marked improvement since losing 1-0 to Indiana in its first game. Easley came back from a 4-2 deficit in the fifth inning to defeat East champion New Jersey, 8-4, and scored late-inning runs to defeat Florida (4-3) and Texas (4-0) before the semi-final game.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico has been nothing short of dominant In International play, outscoring opponents by an astounding 50-3. Puerto Rico has pitched one no-hitter in the series and also had a streak of 26 and a third innings without giving up a run.
Tucker Burgess, the Easley pitcher scheduled to be the starting pitcher in the championship game, said he is “really excited” to pitch in a championship game with a national television audience. He said his plan against Puerto Rico and its high-powered offense is simple.
“I’m just going to try to throw strikes,” said Burgess. “We have a great defense.”