Yaguate, Dominican Republic assistant coach Victor Vizcaino was confident the power in his team’s lineup could help his team stick around at the Pony League World Series.
Well, it’s definitely allowed the Caribbean Zone champion to thrive, and survive, in a pair of elimination games over the past two days.
Cesar Aguasviva hit a pair of home runs and the Dominican Republic hit four overall to defeat Bay County, Mich., 16-6, in an elimination game Monday morning at Lew Hays Pony Field.
In the two elimination games, the Dominican Republic has totaled eight home runs, 39 hits and 40 runs.
“The kids are doing their best to use the power,” Vizcaino said. “It has turned into wins.”
The victory advances the Dominican Republic to another elimination game today against either Chinese Taipei or Youngstown, Ohio.
Rain moved in during the bottom of the fourth inning of the second elimination game between the Bronx, N.Y., and Brownsville, Texas. Play was suspended in the fourth inning with the Bronx leading, 8-6. Brownsville came back after a nearly five-hour rain delay to win, 11-9.
The two winners’ bracket games scheduled for Monday night were postponed until this morning.
The four home runs from the Dominican Republic accounted for eight of the 16 runs. They also helped avenge a comeback victory Bay County, the North Zone champion, earned in the opening game of the series.
“(Our kids) were emotional,” Vizcaino said about the rematch against Bay County. “They wanted to show that team what they had.”
The onslaught of scoring for the Dominican Republic began in the third inning, when Rikendy Martinez singled home Jonatan Guzman for the first run of the game. Martinez later scored on an throwing error, then Aguasviva hit the first of his two home runs – a three-run shot to left centerfield – to extend the lead to 5-0.
But the next two innings were a recurring nightmare for the Dominican Republic as Bay County mounted another comeback. It was only two days ago that Bay County scored four runs to tie and eventually win the game against the Dominican Republic, 8-5, in extra innings.
In the third inning, Micah Irrer hit a run-scoring double that one-hopped the fence in left centerfield, Landon Sella had an RBI groundout and an error cut Bay County’s deficit to 5-3.
Bay County then took a 6-5 lead in the fourth on three balks, two stolen bases and another error.
Four of the seven runners Bay County left on base were stranded in the first two innings. Three of those were left in scoring position, including in the second inning when Bay County left the bases loaded.
“We have left a lot of guys on base this whole tournament,” said Bay County manager Dan Ravette. “We didn’t get the big hit when it counted. If we get a base hit in that bases-loaded situation, it turns the game around completely. We had them where we wanted. They had no idea which way to turn.”
The Dominican Republic regained the lead immediately when Aguasviva, who has hit four home runs in the series, jumped on a pitch and sent it over the right-centerfield fence for a two-run homer to make it 7-6.
The remainder of the game went downhill for Bay County.
Adding two more runs in the sixth inning, the Dominican Republic demolished any chance of another Bay County comeback by batting around and scoring seven runs in the seventh to lead 16-6. Martinez hit a three-run homer and Tavarez hit a solo shot to right field to end the scoring.
Aguasviva went 3-for-5 with five RBI and scored three runs. Martinez was 2-for-4 with four RBI. Daniel Vazquez had three hits.
“(Cesar Aguasviva) just hits the ball very well,” Ravette said. “The other home runs in the later innings, it’s just the pitching running out.”
Brownsville 11, Bronx 9: Jose Gutierrez had fours and 55 minutes in between pitches, the result of a rain delay in Monday’s action of the Pony League World Series.
When the game resumed nearly five hours later, Gutierrez launched a three-run home run on the first pitch that sparked Brownsville, Texas, to an 11-9 victory over the Bronx, N.Y., in an elimination game.
Brownsville will play either Tijuana, Mexico or Long Beach, Calif., in a five-inning game at 3 p.m., today.
Gutierrez’s home run gave Brownsville, the South Zone champion, a 9-8 lead after four innings. Brownsville would add single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to put the game our of reach.
Brownsville scored a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Bronx error and in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly.
Damian Cortez went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, Hugo Cantu was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run, and Rudy Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with two runs.
For the Bronx, Justin Gotay was 2-for-2 with an RBI, three runs and a home run and Miguel Bodre also homered.