Manuela and Curacao
Eliminate Russia with Two-Hit Shutout
By Brandon Miller
Play at the Little League Baseball World Series continued Monday
with the Caribbean Region Champion Pabao Little League defeating the
EMEA Region winner Brateevo Little League, 8-0, at Lamade Stadium.
The Curacao Little Leaguers pounded out eight runs on nine hits
while pitcher Dienston Manuela limited Russia to only four base
runners the entire game. The win by Curacao eliminated Russia from
the tournament and kept alive their hopes of advancing to bracket
“We have to beat Japan tomorrow and allow no runs to be in the
playoffs if Mexico loses,” said Curacao manager Michelangelo
Celestina. “We like the system we’re playing right now, especially
Pitching led the way for Curacao as Manuela struck out 12 while
throwing a two-hit shutout.
The most trouble that Manuela faced came in the fourth. Russian
shortstop Viktor Elkin hit a line drive to deep centerfield that
tipped off the outstretched glove of Vincent Anthonia for a double,
the first hit of the game for Russia. Elkin advanced to third on a
sacrifice fly, but was stranded there when Manuela came back to
strike out the next two batters.
“I pitched good,” said Manuela. “I threw my fastball good and my
curveball was breaking good.”
“(Manuela) had a very good performance today. He wasn’t the best we
faced, but he pitched good,” said Brateevo coach Andrey Tselykovski.
Curacao played small ball in the second after Den-Je-Rick Virginie
led off the inning with a hit to left field that he was able to
stretch into a double. Patrick Llewellyn then demonstrated the
fundamentals of the game by bunting Virginie to third.
Next up was Manuela who drove the ball towards the gap in
right-center field, but centerfielder Andrey Vesenev made a sliding
catch to record the out. Tagging on the play was Virginie to give
Curacao an early 1-0 lead, which was all the run support Manuela
Leading the offense for Curacao was Alexander Rodriguez, who went
3-4 with two doubles and an RBI, and Sherman Lacrus who drove in two
runs while going 1-4 from the plate.
“We talked to (the kids) the last few days and we motivated them
just to play the game and have fun,” said manager Celestina. “We
wanted to take all the pressure off them.”
The highlight of the game came in the top of the first inning. With
a grab worthy of making ESPN’s ‘top ten’ plays of the day, Brateevo
left fielder Alexey Lavrinovich raced back to the wall on a towering
shot by Lacrus, meeting the wall as the ball met his glove, robbing
Lacrus of a solo shot and an early lead for Curacao.
That wasn’t the end of Lacrus’ display of power. In the third,
Lacrus hit a ball that landed foul in the trees beyond the left
field grandstands at Lamade; a ball that easily traveled 300 feet.
The at-bat ended with Lacrus hitting a major league pop-up that was
caught by the leftfielder just shy of the warning track.
Although the Brateevo All-Stars will not be advancing in the
tournament, the trip to South Williamsport was not entirely a loss.
“(The kids) have the best experience of their life here,” said coach
Tselykovski. “Guys that have played here before on the Russian team
now are on the under-21 team and under-18 year old team. They are
Even though his team was outscored 30-1 in the three games they
played, coach Tselykovski said, “It’s ok, we get the experience.
That’s what we came here for, to see good pitching and good players.
We try to get the experience and have fun.”
© 2006, Little League Baseball
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