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Alberto Mendoza hit a towering home run and an RBI double and David Gomez pitched well as Tijuana, Mexico, defeated Brownsville, Texas, 3-1, Saturday night in the Pony League World Series at Lew Hays Pony Field.

Mexico advances to Monday’s winners’ bracket game against either Long Beach, Calif., or the Bronx, N.Y., at 8 p.m.

Brownsville, the South Zone champion, will play Washington County at 7:30 p.m. tonight in an elimination game.

Mendoza’s home run gave Mexico a 2-0 lead and would later hit an RBI double for the Mexico Zone champions.

That was good enough for Gomez. The tall right-hander threw a complete game, striking out eight and allowing nine hits.

Brownsville scored a run in the ninth to avoid the shutout.

Brownsville is believed to have made Pony League World Series history last night by becoming the first team to play a female.

Ana Sofia Rivera started at first base and handled herself well in the field. She made a nice one-hop pick on a throw in the second inning and snagged a hot shot along the line in the second inning.

Rivera was pinch-hit for in the top of the third and Adrian Garcia struck out. She was replaced in the game after three innings.

The series has had female coaches before but not a female player.

The first couple innings saw as many botched scoring opportunities as runs.

Mexico had two runners thrown out at the plate, one in each of the first two innings. Roberto Cardona was gunned down on a double steal attempt in the first inning. Cardona would be thrown out at third base trying to stretch a double into a triple.

In the second, Miguel Sepulveda tried to score from second base on a single and was thrown out at the plate.

Mexico also stranded runners at second and third in the fourth inning.

Brownsville left a runner at third with one out in the first inning and had two on with no outs in the second and could not score.

Assistant Sports Editor

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling.

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