Curacao: Hot! Hot! Hot!
Curacao continued their offensive outbreak Monday morning at the 56th World Series, proving to Pool D and the rest of International teams they are a force to be reckoned with.
One day after scoring ten runs in their opening game against Mexico, the champs from the Caribbean plated 13 runs in
their tilt against Russia.
Curacao improved to 2-0 in Pool D play with its 13-0 win over the Khovrino Little League All-Stars of Moscow, and heads in to its showdown with Japan Tuesday morning at Lamade Stadium.
“It’s not a big surprise because we have a big offense,” head coach Mark Van Zanten said of the combined 23 runs scored. “And it’s not the home runs that count, it’s the runs.”
Curacao exploded for eight runs in the second, highlighted by Richently Kenepa’s two run homer to straightaway center field and Dennis Neuman’s three-run shot to left. The champs from the Caribbean sent 12 batters to the plate in the second, seven of whom had hits.
It was Neuman’s second long ball of the contest, his first a solo home run in the opening frame.
“I feel great because it’s not a normal thing to hit two home runs in a game,” he said.
Starting pitcher Reinius Roosberg did not allow a hit in his four-inning complete-game. His performance will go down in the record books as a no-hitter, and will carry an asterisk.
Roosberg walked two and struck out five, including the last three hitters he faced in the fourth.
“I felt great,” he said. “I just threw a lot of fastballs down the middle.”
Curacao tacked on one in the third, and three more in the fourth to close out the scoring.
Kenepa finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI.
“I felt great; very comfortable,” he said.
Russia completed pool play with a 0-3 record, but head coach Vladimir Eltchaninov was anticipating playing strong teams.
“We expected to have a really tough game,” he said, “We’re not too upset with the loss, but we are upset with the errors in the field. Those surprised us.
“It was a great experience for the kids. A lot of the guys are in America for the first time.”
Curacao now waits to take on a Japan in a match-up that will determine seeding in the semi-final round of competition. Van Zanten is looking forward to the game and indicated there’s a lot more to come from his squad.
“We can never predict, but I hope our offense gets even better,” he said. “We won’t do anything special (in preparation for the next game). We’ll just concentrate on our team and go out on the field and do the best we can.”
Anything better could make them unbeatable. Japan will certainly be a good test for them.