The Kaiserslautern Military Community All-Stars moved three victories away from a trip to next month’s Little League World Series with an 18-1 pool-play victory Tuesday over Hungary at Little League Baseball’s European Regional Tournament at Kutno, Poland.

“It was a group effort,” said Eric Vincent, coach of the 11-12-year-olds who went into this seven-day, 12-team event at Little League’s European headquarters as the champions of Germany. “We got 19 hits, and our three pitchers allowed just one hit.”

Biggest of the 19 hits was a three-run homer by Tyler Woodberry, who went yard for the eighth time in the tournament.

Vincent said by telephone that catcher Kyle Glenn started the game for the All-Stars and pitched two hitless, scoreless innings. Jared Mendiola relieved, and Levi Keltz closed with two scoreless innings that boosted the All-Stars to a 5-0 record and the championship of Pool A. Hungary finished 1-4 and joined winless Serbia in exiting the tournament. The U.K., Italy and Ukraine will join the U.S. as the Pool A representatives in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Because each KMC hurler threw fewer than 21 pitches on Tuesday, Vincent said all seven KMC pitcher will be eligible to go to the mound when the All-Stars are to face the fourth-place team from Pool B, either Poland or Lithuania, at 11 a.m. Wednesday. He added that the All-Stars plan to save their two mound aces, Woodberry and Justin Wilson, for use in the semifinals and finals.

“We’ll split them up,” he said. “One will start and the other will close.”

Vincent said he expects the Czech Republic, the unbeaten Pool B champs and second in Europe last year to the Netherlands, to be the biggest obstacle for a return to Williamsport, Pa., for KMC. The All-Stars reached the Little League World Series there in 2009 and 2010.

“They’ll have a harder road (than KMC) to reach the final,” Vincent said of the Czechs. “Our pool was tougher than theirs.”

Vincent, who treated his team to a trip to Kutno’s new water park after Monday’s pool-clinching 13-8 victory over Italy, said the All-Stars planned to celebrate Tuesday’s victory with barbecued ribs and steaks at a local restaurant.

Then it’s back to business for Wednesday’s quarterfinals, and, they hope, Thursday’s semifinals and Friday’s 3 p.m. title game. The Little League World Series is scheduled for Aug. 16-26.

To get there, Vincent concluded, “We have three games to play.”

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now