Little League World Series

Game 12: Latin America 13 vs. MEA 0

Panama is clutch

Two-out runs aplenty in 13-0 win over Saudi Arabia in Pool D elimination game

Author: Mark Rogoff

Source: South Williamsport, Pa.

Date/Time: Sunday, August 22, 2010, 3:00pm ET

Pitching and defense will win you ballgames, no doubt. But don’t count out timely hitting as part of the winning recipe.

In the first Pool D elimination game, Panama (1-1) scored 10 runs with two outs in a 13-0 drubbing of Saudi Arabia (0-2) at Volunteer Stadium. The game ended after three and a half innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Panama moves on to play Tuesday against the loser of Monday’s Canada-Chinese Taipei clash. Saudi Arabia will play a consolation game against Toms River, N.J., Tuesday at Lamade Stadium.

“In other important games, that has also happened,” Panama Manager Cristobal Salerno said of the two-out hits through interpreter Dr. Luis Sanchez. “I don’t understand why. Perhaps they are more serious with two outs.”

Four Panama players had multiple RBI, including a team-high three by Luis Bazan. He laced an RBI single as part of a five-run first and a two-run single as part of a five-run third.

All five runs in the first came with two outs. Jorge Perez also had an RBI single in the inning, and the outburst was capped by Sebastian Carrizo’s two-run single, the sixth hit – and fifth straight – of the inning.

“I am very happy to have three RBI and also very happy for the win,” Bazan said.

Javier Garcia made it 6-0 with a run-scoring double in the second. Irving Indunis then cracked a double of his own to score Garcia and make it 7-0. The eighth run scored on a passed ball with two outs.

Panama in the third tacked on the final five runs, four of which came with two outs. Garcia connected for his second RBI single in as many innings, Indunis laced another RBI double, and Bazan had his two-run single.

The troika of Garcia, Indunis, and Bazan went a combined 7-for-9 with seven RBI and five runs scored.

“Those big three in the middle, very good,” said Saudi Arabia manager Jeffrey Barnett. “No doubt they hit for power.”

Barnett noted that the MEA champs didn’t have their planned starter for the game. Jacob Ksiazek suffered a hairline fracture in his left hand while sliding into second base in their first game against Chinese Taipei Saturday.

Barnett’s son Braden started in his place, and allowed nine earned runs and 13 hits in his three innings of work.

“Very frustrating,” Manager Barnett said. “A lot of the pitches were unnecessary because of the errors committed in the field. As a result we gave them a lot of opportunities to hit.”

Offensively, Braden had two of Saudi Arabia’s three hits.

As for Panama, Salerno and his players are looking forward to their next game while preferring a rematch with Canada.

“I have my pitching in order, the kids are more relaxed, and I think we’ll see a different outcome (than their loss to Canada),” Salerno said.