EASLEY—Puerto Rico continued its dominance of the International field, scoring 13 runs in the first two innings on its way to a 14-0 victory in Saturday’s first of four games in the Big World Series at the JB “Red” Owens Recreation Complex in Easley.
Puerto Rico, the defending International Pool champions, became the first team to go to 3-0 among the international teams. Indiana is the only unbeaten team (3-0) in US Pool Play. Venezuela has a chance to go to 3-0 in Saturday’s second game against the Philippines, champions of the Asia/Pacific Region
The dominance of Puerto Rico in its games shows up in the box scores where Puerto Rico has outscored opponents 30-2 and collected 39 hits in three games so far. The pitching staff has struck out 25 opponents and given up only six hits in the three wins. Puerto Rico has not given up a run in its last 17 innings.
Puerto Rico had 14 hits and took advantage of eight Canada errors —-two of them in the first inning—- helping to ignite a five-run first inning. Ten Puerto Rico players batted in the inning.
After Canada was stopped in the bottom of the first, Puerto Rico went back to work in the second. This time 13 Puerto Rico batters came to the plate. Canada made another five errors in the inning and Puerto Rico scored eight runs on six hits to take a 13-0 lead. Puerto Rico added a run in the fifth when Rafael Oliveras scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Morales.
Canada had two runners on base in the bottom of the fifth, getting a hit and advancing Puerto Rico’s only error of the game, but Brandon Urquhart was thrown out at home to preserve the shutout and the consecutive scoreless innings streak.
Oliveras led the Puerto Rico offensive attack with three hits and three runs scored. Victor Caratini had two hits, three RBI and a run scored and Arnaldo Matos scored three runs while collecting two hits. Alexis Cruz and Mikael Clinton also had two hits each. Andrew McKenzie had two of Canada’s three hits.
Edgardo Rivera pitched three innings, giving up one hit, striking out four and walking two to get the win. Elliott Correa gave up two hits and struck out two in two innings of work. Urquart came on in relief of Cole Wilton in the second, and gave up the one run and three hits in three and a third innings.
Puerto Rico faces Venezuela, champions of the Latin America Region Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Venezuela was 2-0 going into its game Saturday against the Philippines. Canada plays its next game Monday at 9 a.m. against the Philippines.