European edition, Wednesday, July 25, 2007

KUTNO, Poland — Ted Fitzmaurice’s pitching and two home runs Monday kept seven-time defending champion Saudi Arabia unbeaten in Little League Baseball’s Transatlantic Regional.

Fitzmaurice allowed three hits and walked one while striking out 13. He also hit one of his team’s two fifth-inning homers to help Saudi Arabia to a 3-0 victory over the Stuttgart-Wiesbaden Bulldogs in this five-team event to determine the region’s representative in next month’s Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Germany pitcher Dylan Measells matched Fitzmaurice in his 41/3 innings. He allowed four hits and struck out eight before walking Saudi Arabia’s Matt Underwood and leaving with one out in the fifth inning of a scoreless game.

It took only one pitch to end the shutout. Shortstop Chris Beyers hit reliever Chris Byrd’s first pitch over the left-field fence for a 2-0 lead.

“It was high and right down the middle,” Beyers said of the Byrd fastball. “I was looking for something from the middle of the plate in.”

The blast, which was followed one out later by a solo homer from Fitzmaurice, raised the inevitable post-game question about the switch.

“It was time for a change,” Stuttgart-Wiesbaden manager Larry Tannenbaum said. “I’ve been coaching this guy for five years, and he’ll never tell me he’s tired.”

Measells was sanguine about the move.

“I could have gone on,” he said, “but I trust my coach.”

Measells worked his way out of trouble in the third, when a bunt single by Bryce Jackson, a throwing error and a wild pitch put Jackson on third with no outs. Measells struck out Underwood for the first out, then snared Beyers’ hot comebacker and held Jackson at third before throwing Beyers out. Beau Branton then flew out.

Saudi Arabia runners reached second and third in the fourth with two out, but a groundout ended that threat.

Tuesday morning, three Saudi Arabia pitchers — Andrew Issa, Beyers and Ryan Al-Bawab — combined to no-hit Naples in a 13-0 four-inning, run-rule victory.

In Tuesday’s late game, Timmy Davison surrendered just one hit over five innings, and closer Cam Orr retired the side in order in the sixth as London (2-0) edged Dubai (0-1) 2-1.

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