Game 15
0 vs. Mexico 7

Monday, August 22, 2005
11:00AM ET
Lamade Stadium

Mexico Rushes to victory
Mexicali team beats Moscow to even record at 1-1

By Nick Williams

The game between Russia and Mexico on Monday morning at Lamade Stadium was more than just a pool play matchup between the two international teams—it was a battle of nerves.

After being held to only two hits by Canada in their opening game, Mexicali, Mexico busted out for a whopping 11 in five innings in their 7-0 victory over Moscow, Russia.

“I think it was their nerves,” Mexico manager Juan Minor said of his team through interpreter Micah Hughes. “After the first game [against Canada] they calmed down a little bit and got a little more comfortable.”

“The kids are very nervous,” said Russia manager Alexey Erofeev through interpreter and assistant coach Vladimir Petrov. “They don’t play so many games on a high level, so they don’t have so much experience. They can play much better, much more aggressive.
We tell them ‘Don’t worry play like you can, but sometimes they cant.’”

Mexico’s 1-2 punch in the lineup of Nordan Gomez (3-for-4, one RBI, two runs scored) and Julio Arciniega (3-for-3 with a double and two RBI) would be enough to rattle the nerves of anyone.

And that’s without mentioning Arciniega’s solid pitching performance.

The righthander pitched a complete game shutout, scattering four hits and striking out seven.

Russia starter Anton Smirnov, meanwhile, did his best Houdini and escaped sure peril in the first inning, before the magic act ran out in the second.

Smirnov tightroped through the first inning, with a little help from his defense. After leadoff hitter Gomez beat out a bunt for a single, Arciniega followed by smashing a double just over the outstretched glove of left fielder Alexei Lavrinovich, scoring Gomez and giving Mexico an early 1-0 advantage.

The very next batter, Mario Rosas crushed a Smirnov fastball to right field. Sergei Shershak backpedaled, extended his arm and made the catch while stumbling backwards to rob Rosas of extra bases and Mexico of a sure run.

Smirnov then issued consecutive walks to Kevin Garcia and Carlos Camano to load the bases. Mexico’s Edgar Lopez followed by hitting a groundball to second. Artem Kulik fielded the ball, flipped it to shortstop Viktor Elkin for the out at second and Elkin’s throw to first beat Lopez by half a step for an inning-ending double play.

Smirnov wasn’t so lucky in the second when a double, walk and sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. Consecutive RBI singles by Gomez and Arciniega made the score 3-0 and chased Smirnov from the game.

With Russia’s Shershak now pitching, Rosas hit a sac fly to center, plating Gomez and giving Mexico a 4-0 lead.

Mexico put the game out of reach with three runs in the fourth, all coming with two outs.

A walk to David Carreon and a single by Kevin Garcia put runners on the corners for Carlos Camano. Camano then sliced a single just to the right of the third base bag to drive in pinch-runner Kristian Delgado.

After Shershak’s wild pitch permitted Garcia and Camano to advance to second and third, Edgar Calderas lined a two-run base hit into the outfield, making the score 7-0 in favor of Mexico.

Arciniega ran into his only trouble of the day in the fifth when he loaded the bases on two singles and a fielder’s choice. But the Mexicali righthander struck out Vadim Tolmachev and got Elkin to bounce into an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play.

“I feel like I pitched a good game,” Arciniega said through Hughes. “I’m happy about it.”

Game Photos

2005, Little League Baseball Incorporated
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