EASLEY—Anaheim, CA, representing the West Region, and Venezuela, representing Latin America, picked up victories in the the first two games of the Big League World Series at the JB “Red” Owens Recreation Complex Wednesday afternoon.
Anaheim defeated the Southwest champion from Laredo, TX 4-0, while Venezuela broke a 3-3 tie with back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the sixth, to defeat Italy, the EMEA(Europe/Middle East/Africa) champion, 5-3.
US Pool Play: California 4, Texas 0
California pitcher Ryan Hartman pitched a two-hit shutout and struck out 12 and AJ David hit a home run to lead California to a 4-0 win over Texas.
Texas threatened in the second, loading the bases with two outs but was unable to get on the scoreboard.
California picked up the first runs in the bottom of the third inning. AJ David singled and moved to third on a single by Hartman. Joseph Rivera singled scoring David for the first run of the game. Joseph Gandara, who was the pinch runner for Hartman, scored on a single by Stratton Kim to take a 2-0 lead.
David scored again in the fourth, hitting the first home run of the tournament to give California a 3-0 lead. Gandara, pinch running for Lucas Sardo, scored in the fifth on a single by Jacob Valdez picking up two runs. Hartman pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory, throwing 110 pitches, 72 for strikes. David came on in relief to get the final out for California to earn the save.
International Pool Play: Venezuela 5-3
Venezuela jumped on top in the bottom of the first inning, getting two runs on one hit, two walks and two Italy errors. Rincon led off with a walk and reached second on an error by Italy pitcher Alberto Domini. After Melvin Rodriguez walked, Rincon scored on a single by Andherson Yance. Rodriguez scored when JC Montero reached first on an error by the Italy shortstop.
In the bottom of the second Luis Vera was hit by a pitch and scored three batters later on a single by Rodriguez to take a 3-0 lead.
Italy came back in the third, Mario Mari singled and scored after a single by Daniele Furlan and a fielder’s choice. Furlan later scored to cut the Venzuelan lead to 3-2.
The game remained 3-2 until the the top of the fifth when Mari walked and scored on a single by Pietro Gheno to tie the game at 3-3. Italy had two runners in scoring position in the sixth, but then inning ended without a run when Giamcomo Nunin was thrown out at home plate for the third out.
In the bottom of the sixth, Andres Zambrano walked and then stole second base. He reached third on a fielder’s choice. EJ Lugo then doubled to left-center field to score Zambrano and give Venzuela a 4-3 lead. Lugo advanced to third on a wild pitch and Rincon doubled to score Lugo. Venezuela loaded the bases but Italy got out of the inning without giving up a run.
Italy got one batter on, but a double play and a strikeout secured the victory for the Latin American team.
NOTE: The 12 combined hits by Italy and Venezuela was the same number of hits California had in its win over Texas.
Make sure you follow @EasleyProgress on twitter to see live game scores!