The Los Leones Little League All-Stars out of Valencia, Venezula sent a very clear message to the other occupants of Pool C: they are the team to beat.
The Venezuelan squad was dominant in their 11-1 victory over the Central Guam Little League from Agana, Guam at Lamade Stadium Saturday.
“As soon as we got here, we were all anxious,” said Venezuelan head coach Omar Quintero. “We were all ready to get our first win.”
Venezuela wasted no time working for their first win of the tournament. After pitcher Eduardo Mendez struck out the side in the top of the first, the Venezuela offense erupted for five runs in the bottom half.
The Latin America champs batted around in the first frame, concluding with a two-out infield single by Enyerber Sanchez.
Latin America plated two more runs in the fourth. Shortstop Gerson Montilla hit the first pitch he saw over the left field fence, extending his team’s lead to 6-1.
“It was a fastball down the middle,” Montilla said of the home run pitch. “As soon as I hit it I knew that it was gone.”
Freddy Mondragon scored on a wild pitch later in the inning, giving his team a 7-1 lead.
Mendez was tough throughout the duration of the game. Mendez fanned 12, and allowed just three hits in his complete-game win.
“I am very happy with my first victory,” he said. “The team did their work, both in the infield and in the outfield.”
Guam next faces Transatlantic Sunday at Volunteer Stadium. Venezuela takes a day off on Sunday before their showdown with Canada, Monday at Lamade Stadium.