They call themselves “The Beasts,” and the Kaiserslautern Military Community 11-12-year-olds who beat Ukraine 10-0 in Tuesday’s rain-delayed championship game shouldn’t get any argument over that self-assessment from the other 10 national champions who played in Little League Baseball’s European regional tournament in Kutno, Poland.
KMC went 8-0, outscoring the opposition 86-5 and posting three shutouts, while claiming Europe’s berth in the Little League World Series Aug. 21-30 in Williamsport, Pa. When they take the Lamade Stadium field at 9 p.m. Central European Time on Aug. 21 against Chinese Taipei, they will be the first American military community team to play in Williamsport since a Ramstein team in 1999.
KMC’s Matt Zembraski, who is entering the eighth grade, said the previous victories helped deal with Tuesday’s butterflies.
“I was a little nervous,” he said by cell phone Wednesday as the team drove back from Poland. “But I knew we could do it by the way we played in those other games.”
Chris Holba pitched all five innings of Tuesday’s victory over previously unbeaten Ukraine, allowing one hit and one walk and striking out 11 in a game prolonged by a one-hour, 45-minute rain delay, according to KMC parent Wayne Daubert.
KMC scored runs in the first and third innings on a fielder’s choice grounder by Dan Tolarchyk and Jacob Van Parys’ solo homer, respectively.
The All-Stars struck for four runs in the fourth and four in the fifth, Daubert reported. Tolarchyk’s two-run double and RBI singles by Holba and Mike Bega scored the runs in the fourth; errors and a passed ball accounted for the scoring in the fifth.
According to Chris Downs of Little League Baseball, Inc., teams from Germany, all of them military community clubs, have played in the Little League World Series 13 times. That figure includes KMC teams that made youth baseball’s biggest stage in 1976, 1992 and 1993.
At Williamsport, KMC’s international division opponents, in addition to Chinese Taipei champ Kuei-Shan Little League of Taoyuan, include Guadalupe Trevino Kelly Little League of Reynosa, Mexico and the Canadian champ, which has yet to be determined.
KMC Seniors fall again
KMC’s 15-16-year-olds lost to the Central champs from South Bend, Ind., 1-0 Tuesday night for their third loss against no victories in Little League Baseball’s Senior League Softball World Series in Lower Sussex, Del.
KMC, which managed just two hits in its opening loss to Puerto Rico, mustered four hits Tuesday in getting just one runner as far as third base, according to the box score posted at the Web-site www.District3.org. Autumn Diaz took the loss.
KMC was to face the West champions from Butte, Mont., in Wednesday evening’s game.