Mexico Mows Down Canada 6-2
Mexico moved on to the International Final with a 6-2 victory over Canada. Canada was competitive and kept the game close, but Mexico’s fireball pitchers closed the door once they jumped out to a four-run lead.
Winning pitcher Andre Garza struck out seven in four innings. He is a tall, lanky hurler who made life tough for the Canadian batters.
In relief, Samuel Juarez was just as potent if not more so, throwing fire at speeds up to 75 mph. He struck out five with no walks over two innings.
Canada’s Reid Hefflick threw five strikeouts over 3.1 innings and also hit 1-2. Chase Marshall struck out three over 1.2 innings, and he hit 1-3 with a double.
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Mexico jumped out to an early two-run lead thanks to an RBI groundout by Saul Soto, which scored Isaac Miranda (1-3). A single by Samuel Juarez (1-2), scored Carlos Garcia (2-2), who had doubled.
Canada responded in the top third with a home run by Robert Orr (1-2), clearing the left field wall. They tied the game in the next inning when Ty Fluet (1-3) stole second, an error resulted in the ball to rolling into center field and Fluet rolled home.
Mexico took a 3-2 lead in the bottom fourth with heads-up base running, as well. Francisco Elizondo (1-1) hit a single, advanced to second on a walk to Juarez, then moved on to third and scored due to a wild pitch and passed ball.
Canada seemed poised to respond once more with a walk to Orr, bring in Juarez in relief. Hefflick singled, then he and Orr advanced to second and third on passed balls. However, Juarez kept his cool and threw heat, striking out two consecutive batters to end the threat.
In the bottom fifth, Mexico put the game out of reach with two home run blasts by Jorge Garcia (2-3) and Jorge Lambarria, which also scored Garza (1-1).
Canada’s Kyle Chyzowski (1-3) hit a double that tip-toed down the left-field line, but Juarez got a strikeout, groundout and another strikeout to end the game.
Mexico will face off against Japan this Saturday in the International Final for what is sure to be a must-see matchup.
Southwest Trounces New England 14-4
Deep in the heart of Texas, fans were happy as Southwest thumped New England 14-4, ending the game an inning early. The team quickly bounced back after its disappointing, extra-inning loss to Southeast the night before with 13 total hits.
Southwest jumped out to a big first inning lead, starting with a three-run homer by Collin Ross (2-4). That was followed by singles from Christian Mumphery (2-4, 1 RBI) and Chip Buchanan (2-2). Mumphery scored on a wild pitch and Buchanan made it 5-0 with an exciting steal of home.
Following a score by Mark Requena (1-1, 1 BB) on an error, Malcolm Deason (1-3) hit a line-drive single that scored Blake Slaga (1-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB) and Chandler Spencer (1-2, 2 R) to make it 8-0.
Southwest made it 9-0 with a Slaga RBI single in the second inning, scoring Buchanan.
In the bottom fifth, Clayton Wigley (2-4) hit a two-run single that ended the game.
The lead was just too big for New England to overcome. Despite home runs by Michael Iannazzo (1-2, 2 RBI) and Matthew Vivona (2-3) plus an RBI double by Sean O’Neil (1-1), the offense wasn’t as potent as the previous two games, where they scored 26 total runs.
Pitcher Mark Requena got the win, throwing for 4.2 innings and striking out seven.
Southwest advances to the United States Championship Game, where it will have a rematch with Southeast.
Samuel Juarez, Mexico: pitched 2 IP, 5 strikeouts; hit 1-2, 1 RBI
Collin Ross, Southwest: (2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI)
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