Mexico blanks South Korea

A closer look at the West Seoul LL of Seoul, South Korea vs. Guadalupe Trevino Kelly LL of Reynosa, Mexico, game Monday at Volunteer Stadium, a 1-0 Mexico win.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Jorge Lambarria’s third-inning single that scored Saul Soto was the game’s only run. Lambarria said he was happy he simply made contact on what was his second hit here.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Andrews Garza struck out five and walked two, allowing no hits in a two-inning save. Garza said he’s normally been a starter. He threw the first inning of the combined no-hitter Saturday vs. Italy, but when he pitches doesn’t matter. Mexico Manager Jose Manuel Espinoza Urrea said Garza’s performance was representative of his abilities, as he threw a perfect game in the national tournament.

BIG INNING: Garza walked South Korea’s Jin Won Shin to lead off the sixth, putting the tying run aboard, before striking out Hyun Bo Sim, Ho Sung Lee, and Kyum Ahn in order to end the game.

HOME RUNS: There were no home runs. Nothing threatened, either, as each team recorded just one fly ball out into the outfield.

FLASHING LEATHER: Mexico played its third error-free game in three appearances here.

BEST EFFORT: Good on the players who finished before the thunderstorm hit shortly after 3 p.m., the same storm that delayed the Jackson, N.J., game vs. Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., event at Lamade Stadium.

WHAT THE ADULTS SAY: Urrea not only expected a close game, but a pitching duel after South Korea lost 4-1 to Japan but beat the Dominican Repulblic, 10-1, with four home runs. “I said to myself pregame that the first team to score wins it today,” said Urrea through an interpreter.

But the stress wore on him.

“See? No more hair,” he added after removing his hat.

WHAT THE KIDS SAY: Lambarria said he was motivated by Sunday night’s MLB Little League Classic and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. “He’s my favorite player,” said Lambarria.

WHAT IT MEANS: South Korea is eliminated after a 1-2 finish. Mexico advances to play today at 3 p.m. against Venezuela.

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