After breezing through their first five games at Little League Baseball’s Junior League European Regional, the Stuttgart-Vilseck Wolverines missed out on a trip to the Junior League World Series when they lost to Italy 6-5 in Sunday evening’s title game.
According to coach Larry Tannenbaum, the Wolverines — a group of 13 and 14 year olds — spotted Italy a 6-0 lead and weren’t quite able to get the runs back in their only loss of the tournament.
"Of the six runs, only two were earned," Tannenbaum said by telephone Sunday night. "We came back but just couldn’t finish the game."
The loss was shocking given the Wolverines’ record prior to Sunday.
"In six games, we scored 74 runs and allowed just 19," Tannenbaum said. "Included in that was a perfect game by Dylan Measells and James Taylor in a 14-0 defeat of Germany. Measells pitched six innings, and Taylor closed it out."
Measells was one of the hitting stars, too.
"Measells and Ryan Tannenbaum each batted over .700," Tannenbaum said.
"I’m super-proud of our kids," Tannenbaum said. "They played their hearts out."
Tannenbaum added that even the bitter ending his team endured had its bright side.
"When we came off the field," he said, "the teams from Hessen [Germany], the Netherlands and Lithuania gave us a standing ovation. That was something special."