KMC wins consolation game at Little League World Series
August 23, 2010
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — There’s something about that third game for some teams at the Little League World Series.
Teams can arrive here full of pressure and expectations, not just from supporters and parents and TV, but from themselves. Players want to perform well for themselves, as the trip here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most.
So perhaps it was no surprise to see the Kaiserslautern Military Community Little Leaguers come away with a 2-1 victory over Plymouth, Minn., Monday at Lamade Stadium in the first of two crossover consolation games between teams that started 0-2.
“We reached our goal, yeah, to win, but we also had the goal to have fun and we did that in the first day,” said KMC manager Gary Harrington. “I was saying yesterday that if we can pick up a friendly game and maybe go home 2-2 that would be great.”
The victory marked the first in six tries for KMC teams, as its representative went 0-3 last year. That team suffered 16-0 and 13-0 losses to Taiwan and Mexico, respectively, before falling 14-13 to Canada in the third game.
But this year’s team did better than that as Kyle Foley reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning for the game-winning run.
Jonathon Oswold earned the victory in relief of starter Tyler Ullmann, but not without putting two Plymouth runners on base via a walk and hit. But Oswold forced Talor Blustin into a fielder’s choice to end it.
“I didn’t know where the ball was hit, but I just ran to second and Pierce (Tujo) had the ball,” Foley said about the game-ending play.
A sixth-inning leadoff fly out to the warning track in center scared Oswold.
“I had a lot of fun just thinking about being in Williamsport and it was incredible,” said Oswold. “But that first pitch, I thought it was out and thought, ‘Oh, crap.’”
Players walked off the field after the game to the instrumental theme from the movie “Top Gun” in an obvious nod to their Air Force backgrounds.
KMC tied the game 1-1 in the first inning when Stanford Hurley walked and scored on a Tyler Hufana single.
Plymouth, which fell to Pearland, Texas, and Auburn, Wash., to drop into this game, scored in the top of the first when Nick Tuel singled home Jack McDonough.
Hufana led KMC with two hits. Mackenzie Mueller, Daniel Harrington, and Wyatt Hood had one hit apiece.
KMC isn’t going straight home after the Series, as Gary Harrington said the New York Yankees invited them to stop by next week for batting practice and to meet the team and be on the field for the national anthem.