Juarez hits 2-run homer in win
A closer look at the Guadalupe Trevino Kelly LL of Reynosa, Mexico vs. Luz-Maracaibo LL of Maracaibo, Venezuela, Tuesday at Lamade Stadium, an 8-0 Mexico win.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Samuel Juarez hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning for a 4-0 lead.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Isaac Miranda struck out six, allowing two hits and no walks in 4 1/3 innings of the victory. He threw 67 pitches, leaving him fully eligible to throw this weekend if Mexico advances.
BIG INNING: This LLWS has seen rain on four of six days, and Mexico finishing off Venezuela in the bottom of the sixth inning avoided a possible storm delay as Erick Vazquez struck out the side. Little League would have given Venezuela a chance to get back in the game had it not finished, even moving the conclusion to Wednesday if necessary.
HOME RUNS: Juarez’s 260-foot shot landed just left of the batter’s eye shrubbery for a 4-0 Mexico lead in the second inning. Andre Garza cleared the shrubs with a line drive at 245 feet, an opposite field shot in right center, for a 7-0 lead I nthe fifth.
FLASHING LEATHER: Mexico first baseman Moises Molero snagged Jorge Garcia’s sinking hard liner between his legs for the third out to end the first inning. Mexico pitcher Isaac Miranda pulled down a blooper over the mound from Andres Bermudez for the final out of the fourth inning.
BEST EFFORT: Venezuela got out of the fifth with a 2-6-5-4-3 putout of Carlos Garcia in a rundown. Credited, in order, with assists on Jonney Rosario’s tagged putout were Luis Rodriguez, Juan Faria, Jhann Bozo, and Omar Romero. Jonney Rosario struck out four straight after allowing five runs in the second inning.
WHAT THE ADULTS SAY: Manager Juan Manuel Espinoza Urrea said the day off would help the Mexican players, looking to return to the weekend after the nation’s representative fell last year in the Thursday game.
“But I don’t talk about other teams, just mine,” said Urrea through an interpreter.
WHAT THE KIDS SAY: Mexican players said they were unfazed by their debut in Lamade Stadium. Part of the LLWS restructuring to a modifed double-elimination format has all international games through Monday scheduled for Volunteer Stadium, built in 2001. Little League generally used to give all 16 teams at least one Lamade game during the pool play era.
“It’s not much different,” said Miranda. “Just stay focused.”
WHAT IT MEANS: Venezuela is eliminated with a 2-2 record. Mexico advances to a game Thursday at 3 p.m. at Lamade Stadium vs. the loser of Japan and Canada.