Intimidated by opponents? Not Curacao

Jay-Dlynn Wiel of the Caribbean team celebrates after his first inning home run against the Asia-Pacific team during the Little League World Series Aug. 23, 2023. DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

After losing to Chinese Taipei on Wednesday at the Little League World Series, Curacao manager told members of the press that Chinese Taipei wasn’t untouchable.

Looking at the results, it’s hard to agree with Everett. The Asia Pacific Regional champions this year are absolutely phenomenal at the plate in scoring runs, and pitching wise? Good luck hitting the Chinese Taipei pitchers.

But, it shows the confidence that Everett has in his entire team, not just from an offensive standpoint but from defense and pitching as well.

Pabao Little League of Willemstad, Curacao is in the International Championship game for a second consecutive year and Everett and the Caribbean Regional champions aren’t intimidated by anyone they face.

Curacao will look to again get to the World Series when they face Chinese Taipei on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. for the right for a berth to the championship game on Sunday.

“Play perfect. Play perfect baseball,” Everett said as to the key for playing Chinese Taipei again. “For sure they are a great team, great defense. They hit. You have to just go out there, don’t make mistakes and grab the momentum for sure. If you don’t grab the momentum, it’s going to be tough.”

They’ve been here before, they’ve been in this situation before and they want to get back to the World Series championship game.

“First of all I’m just very happy. They played a big game and we’re going back to the finals,” Everett said after Thursday’s exciting 4-2 win at Lamade Stadium over Mexico. “That’s the game of Little League, you have to just go out and score runs.”

Curacao fell to Chinese Taipei on Wednesday, 9-1, in a game in which the Asia Pacific Regional champions pulled away late with six huge runs in the fifth inning.

While Chinese Taipei has a dominant pitching staff, Everett knows his team is capable of putting the ball in play against anyone. Curacao has a lineup that has collected 12 total hits throughout the tournament in a stacked International field.

Curacao opened the tournament with a narrow win over Australia, 2-1, before edging out Venezuela in a 2-1 ballgame. Then came the lopsided loss to Chinese Taipei on Wednesday, 9-1, before Curacao rebounded with a 4-2 win on Thursday to eliminate Mexico and reach the International Championship game.

Jay-Dylnn Wiel and Jayvery Felicia both lead Curacao this tournament with three hits a piece and Diehl has a home run to his credit. Yaedon Lourens Martie, Shemar Sophia Jacobus and Nasir El-Ossais all have two hits each, and Nathan Nahr, Alexander Provacia Roach, Helmir Helmijr and Joshua Acosta Fernandez have each put the ball in play for a hit.

Curacao also has a deep pitching staff with seven players throwing in a game, five of which have thrown at least 2 1/3 innings.

Everett and Curacao’s players all know there’s little room for mistakes against Chinese Taipei. The Asia Pacific Regional champions play great in all facets, and Curacao will have to take advantage of any opportunity.

Chinese Taipei has gotten a lot of recognition, and for good reason, this Series with their outstanding pitching and dominant play. But for Everett, he isn’t intimidated.

Not by a long shot.

“They’re great, they’re great for sure,” Everett said of Chinese Taipei on Wednesday. “I’m real: they are not untouchable. Maybe you think they are, but they’re not untouchable.”

And Curacao is hoping to prove just that this afternoon at Lamade Stadium.


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