The Mon-Yough All-Stars went toe-to-toe with the best hitting teams in the Pony League World Series and gained their respect with some prolific run production.
It was the pitching that did them in.
Perfecting the late-inning charge, Mon-Yough scored four runs over the final two innings in Tuesday morning’s elimination game of the Pony League World Series.
It’s what happened through the earlier innings that caused so many problems.
Mon-Yough pitching was knocked around for nine runs over the first three innings, and that provided the backdrop for an 11-7 loss to Bayamon, Puerto Rico, at Lew Hays Pony Field.
Mon-Yough rallied from a 13-6 deficit to win 16-14 over Bay County, Mich., in the opener of the world series Friday night and made a seventh-inning charge from an 8-3 deficit before falling one run short against Japan. Against Bayamon, Mon-Yough trailed 4-0 after one, cut that lead to 4-3 in the second, but allowed seven runs over the next two innings.
“Our arms are tired,” said Mon-Yough manager Scott Callaway. “We did what we could to get through the game. But let’s put this into perspective. That’s one of the best teams I’ve coached against in a long time.”
Bayamon had four home runs among its 15 hits, including two on back-to-back pitches in the fifth inning by Jose Miranda and Mario Feliciano that made it 11-3. It was Feliciano’s second of the game and capped a 3-for-5 performance that produced four RBI and four runs. Sebastian Toro went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in the four-run second inning.
“We started the day with Puerto Rico hitting .360 and us at .330-something,” Callaway said. “I never imagined we would be held to five hits in this game. That just shows you that the only thing that shows up every day is hustle and speed.”
Mon-Yough, which was making its fourth appearance in the Pony League World Series, scored two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh. Charlie Varriano drove in two runs with a double in the sixth inning. Anthony Winkler, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and Jordan Zilka, who followed with a single, came around to score.
In the seventh, Jake Callaway smashed a two-run home run with two outs. That made for some uncomfortable moments for Bayamon, but Zilka flied out to center field to end the game.
“The dramatics at the end of our games were fun,” said Callaway. “Everything about this team was fun. It’s a good group of kids. They bought into this and never quit.”
Callaway expects to see this group of Mon-Yough players providing highlights for high school teams in the near future.
“A lot of these kids could be starting as freshmen,” he said. “You’ll see them. They’ll be making headlines.”
Mexico 4, Hawaii 3: A fast and furious finish, in which both teams scored twice in the seventh inning, left Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, with a 4-3 victory over Hilo, Hawaii, in an elimination game at Lew Hays Pony Field in Washington Park.
Mexico went into the top of the seventh inning with a 2-1 lead but scored twice on squeeze plays to take a 4-1 lead. Javier Lopez beat out an infield hit, then stole second base. A wild pitch sent him to third base and he scored on a squeeze play by Gerardo Quinonez, who went to second base when the ball was mishandled for an error by the catcher. Quinonez stole third and came home when Alonso Villareal laid down a suicide squeeze bunt that scored Quinones.
In the bottom of the seventh, Hawaii got a runner on to start the inning when Kegan Miura was hit by a pitch. He stole second before Gehrig Octavio walked. Lopez relieved starter Makoa Andres and struck out pinch-hitter Mackanzy Maesaka. But Lopez hit a Daylen Calicdan to load the bases. Octavio scored on a fielder’s choice that left the bases loaded. Andres then beat out a grounder in the infield and Miura and Octavio came around to score on the play.
Kayden Cypriano grounded out to third base to end the game.