Leal bats, pitches Mexico to win
A closer look at the 10-0, four-inning win by Mexico champion Nuevo Leon over Australia champion Sydney on Wednesday at Volunteer Stadium:
PLAY OF THE GAME: Jose Angel Leal homered into right-center field for a 3-0 Mexico lead in the top of the third inning.
MEXICO PLAYER OF THE GAME: Leal not only homered, he was 2 for 3 and pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks for the win.
AUSTRALIA PLAYER OF THE GAME: Clayton Campbell had the only hit, a first-inning single to right.
HOME RUNS: Leal’s home run flew 240 feet. Victor Juarez homered 260 feet to right-center for a 10-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
FLASHING LEATHER: Australia first baseman Ethan Treble dove into the hole to catch a blooper by Luis Lauro Nuncio in the top of the first inning. Australia second baseman Ryley Gonzalez picked off Diego Cantu at first base after catching a Raul Antonio Lopez line drive.
BIG INNING: Mexico scored six runs in the third along with Leal’s home run. A Cantu double down the lineup did the most other damage.
WHAT THE ADULTS SAY: Manager Antonio Rodriguez would prefer Asia-Pacific Region champion Seoul, South Korea, to Latin America champ Aguadunce, Panama, in the next game today because he thought his team matched up better with South Korean pitching. But his first response, a joke, was more line with managing what he called the real (roosters) of Mexico, when he said “The New York Yankees.”
WHAT THE KIDS SAY: Leal said nerves overcame him in his first LLWS game, a loss to Panama. “But it’s a very nice feeling being here and now, as the time is passing, I feel really good,” Leal said through an interpreter.
WHAT IT MEANS: Australia finished 2-2, reaching the goal manager Les Stockdale had of becoming the first Australian team with two wins. Mexico awaits the Panama-South Korea loser at 3 p.m. on Thursday at Lamade Stadium.