Team from Mexico next for KMC in Little League World Series pool play
Stars and Stripes August 23, 2009
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Anything can happen in the Little League World Series, and the Kaiserslautern Military Community players witnessed that firsthand Saturday.
Reynosa, Mexico, needed seven innings and three hours to beat Vancouver, B.C., 2-1 in a game between teams in KMC’s pool.
So even though KMC got no-hit Friday in a 16-0 setback in its opener against Taoyuan, Taiwan, there’s still at least two games left in the tournament for the European representative.
There’s also time to recover and relax, because KMC’s next game isn’t until noon EDT Monday against Reynosa.
KMC manager Ed Prince planned to pitch Matt Zembraski on Monday. Zembraski caught in Friday’s loss.
Starting pitcher Cannon Byrd and Dan Tolarchyk threw 51 and 41 pitches, respectively, and are not eligible to throw.
Chris Holba and Cody Prince stayed under 20 pitches in their relief efforts and can pitch against Reynosa if needed.
"I think there were some nerves in that first game," Ed Prince said.
"We threw it around a little and hadn’t played a close game since districts. That should’ve awakened them a little."
Canadian manager Vito Bordignon thought the Taiwan team was the best in the pool through two days.
"They were competitive and strong," said Bordignon.
Regardless of what happens during the rest of the week, it has been a learning experience for the KMC players.
They can meet players from not just Taiwan, Canada and Mexico, but also Japan, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Massachusetts, New York, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, Iowa, California and Washington state.
There’s not only competition on the field, but in the dorms as well with the ping pong tables and video games.
But those are just diversions from baseball games against teams more talented than KMC is used to seeing.
"The competition on the base isn’t very good, so we’ve looked elsewhere to get good teams," said Prince. "We’ve played ones from Belgium and Holland and we have the base league, but it’s a lot different here."
Ben Brigandi is sports editor of the Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette.