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13

Aug, 2017

Pony World Series day two recap

After a sensational PONY Champions League Game and the annual Opening Ceremonies in the morning, day two afternoon action at the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series in Washington, Pennsylvania featured three, thrilling games as teams battled for winner's bracket positioning. In the first day of day two, Game #3, North Zone Champion Bay County, Michigan rallied late in the game to overtake South Zone Champion Brownsville, Texas and its relief pitching was tough enough to sustain a 6-4 win. In Game #4, Host Washington County, Pennsylvania was lifted by the packed home crowd and responded with 15 hits to defeat European Zone Champion Netherlands 9-2. In Game #5, Seoul, Korea continued the success of its Asia-Pacific Zone predecessors at the World Series level, playing sensational defense and receiving timely hitting to claim victory over Mexico Zone Champion Guasave, Sinaloa.

Game #4 recap: Bay County, Michigan 6 Brownsville, Texas 4

 
Day two of the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series began with the magic of the PONY Champions League game, opening ceremony festivities and a matchup of the South Zone and North Zone Champions, Brownsville, Texas and Bay County, Michigan.

It didn’t take long for scoring to open up, as Brownsville took a first inning lead. After loading the bases by way of two walks and a hit batter, Brownsville right fielder Jose Banda smacked a triple to deep right center field, clearing the bases, making it 3-0.

Bay County, looking for redemption after a 19-3 loss to Maui, Hawaii in the semifinals last year, was held hitless the first three frames, but managed to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fourth. However, after a fielder’s choice and a strikeout, relief pitcher Grant Horner struck a two-RBI single into right to cut the lead to 3-2 after four.

Brownsville regained one of the two runs it allowed in the top of the fifth, when Banda drove in his fourth run of the game, scoring short stop Derick Ramirez on an RBI groundout.

In the bottom of the fifth, Bay County was in the same bases loaded situation, this time with one out. Third baseman Mason Kolak notched a two RBI double to left field to tie the game 4-4.

Brownsville starter Rafael Capistran picked up a strikeout for the second out, then reloaded the bases hitting pinch-hitter Bryce Fredenburg. Horner came up again looking to repeat his two-RBI single in the fourth and picked up his third RBI of the game with a bases loaded walk.

After the walk, Capistran was relieved, ending his day with a line of 4.2 innings, allowing five runs (three earned), five hits, two walks and six strikeouts. Capistran was relieved by Fidel Garcia, who picked up the final out, as Bay County led 5-4 after five innings.

Bay County added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Kolak drove in his third run of the game on an RBI single, making it 6-4 North Zone Champions.

Kolak relieved Horner in the seventh inning, but Brownsville made it interesting. Second baseman Honelio Leal started the inning with a single and reached second on a fielding error on the same play. Leal then reached third with no outs on a wild pitch, but was left stranded. Horner picked up the win for Bay County pitching three innings, allowing one run (unearned), two hits, no walks and struck out three.

Bay County’s starter Blake Waibel earned a no decision and pitch three innings, allowing three runs (all earned), two hits, two walks and struck out six. The save went to Kolak who threw one inning, allowing one hit and struck out one.

Bay County’s victory moves Michigan on in the winner’s bracket to face the winner of Game #6 between Covina, California and Washington County, Pennsylvania, Monday night at 8 p.m. ET/US. For Brownsville, it goes to the loser’s bracket and faces European Zone Champion Netherlands in an elimination game Sunday at 5 p.m.

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Game #5 recap: Washington County, Pennsylvania 9 Netherlands 2

 
Game #5 of the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series matched the European Zone Champions from the Netherlands, who were making their first-ever appearance, against and the Host team Washington County, Pennsylvania.

In the top of the first, the Netherlands jumped ahead quickly, when starting pitcher Nick Boxelaar scored third baseman Raydley Legito on an RBI groundout for the early 1-0 lead.

In its opening game of the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series, Washington County was not only 10-runned in five innings by Paderborn, Germany, but it was also no-hit. The fortunes were much different this year for the hometown kids, as they took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back.

With one out, Washington County loaded the bases with back-to-back hits and reaching on an error to load the bases. Right fielder Connor McMahon singled in starting pitcher Nick Popielarczyk with an RBI single, and third baseman Chad Johnson scored on a wild pitch.

The Netherlands had a bases loaded situation of its own in the top of the third after a walk, single and bunt single. Popielarczyk settled down for the Hosts and limited the damage to just one run, as an RBI groundout by the Netherlands centerfielder Emile Haswell tied the game at two apiece.

In the bottom of the fourth, Washington County took a one-run lead thanks to an RBI single by catcher Mekos Mantalis. Washington County ultimately loaded the bases with one out and took a 4-2 lead when Johnson was hit by a pitch. The threat ended after a double play and the score stayed 4-2 after four innings. 

Justin Naylor relieved Popielarczyk in the fifth inning for Washington County, whose day ended with a line of four innings, allowing two runs (one earned), four hits, one walk and struck out five. The Netherlands put two runners in scoring position against Naylor, but couldn't get a run across to cut the deficit.

Mantalis had lightning in his bat, as he was the spark for the Host team. In the bottom of the fifth, he hit a three-run blast to left field, his second hit and fourth RBI of the game, giving Washington County a commanding 7-2 lead. Naylor added to Washington's lead with a two out RBI double and was followed by Johnson with an RBI single to give Washington a 9-2 lead after five innings.

Washington held the Netherlands in the seventh inning to pick up the victory 9-2. Popielarczyk was awarded the victory, while Naylor threw three innings of relief, allowing no runs, one hit, one walk and struck out one.

Washington earned its first victory in the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series since 2014 and moves on in the winner's bracket to face West Zone champion Covina, California Sunday at Noon ET/US. The Netherlands gets one more chance to keep its first trip at the Washington alive, as it faces Brownsville, Texas in an elimination Game #8 tomorrow night at 5 p.m.

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Game #5 recap: Seoul, Korea 8 Guasave, Mexico 4

 
Day two of the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series concluded with an international winner's bracket matchup between the Asia-Pacific Zone Champion Seoul, Korea and the Mexico Zone Champions, Guasave, Sinaloa, who were fresh off a 3-1 victory Friday over Levittown, Puerto Rico.

In Game #1, Mexico showed off its power, striking three home runs. Once again, in Game #5, the long ball was back, when in the bottom of the first, starting pitcher Joel Sanchez took Seoul starter Lee Young-Jun deep to left for a three-run home run.

In the second inning, Korea marked its first run on the scoreboard on an RBI groundout by shortstop Lee Woong-Chan, scoring Cho Kyu-Taek to make it 3-1.

Korea's bats heated up in the top of the fourth, as it scored four runs to take a 5-3 lead. Cho Kyu-Taek singled in Kim Min-Hyuk making it 3-2, and first baseman Choi Woo-In scored on an RBI groundout by catcher Kim Gyeong-Yui to make it 3-3. Korea then received an RBI single by right fielder Bae Han-Jun and an RBI double by Kim Sung-Min, making it 5-3 Korea after three and a half innings.

Seoul was back at it in the top of the fifth inning, when Choi Woo-In smacked a solo home run to deep left field, extending the lead to 6-3 for the Asia-Pacific Zone Champions.

In the sixth, Seoul capitalized on the lead-off double against Mexico reliever Said Cota, when Kim Gyeung-Yui scored on an error by Guasave second baseman Nomar Valdez, making it 7-3 after five and a half innings.

Seoul tallied one more run in the top of the seventh, when Kim Min-Hyuk went deep to left field, making the score 8-3. Guasave made the most of its final chance at-bat, when pinch-hitter Pavel Navarro hit a solo home run of his own to right field, cutting the Korea lead in half to 8-4.

However, the masterful performance of Lee Young-Jun was the story of the night in Korea's 8-4 victory. After allowing the three-run home run in the bottom of the first, Lee Young-Jun set down 18 of the last 21 batters he faced en route to a complete game victory, allowing four runs (all earned), six hits, no walks and 12 strikeouts.

Seoul moves on in the winner's bracket to face Hagerstown, Maryland on Monday night at 5:30 p.m. ET/US. Guasave drops to the loser's bracket and will face the winner of Sunday afternoon's game between Levittown, Puerto Rico and Youngstown, Ohio Monday at 10 a.m.

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The DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series continues Sunday through Wednesday, culminating in the Championship Game for the Roy Gillespie Memorial Trophy at 7:30 p.m. ET/US. Follow all the tournament action at PONY.org, EAST.PONY.org and PLWS.org, as well as PONY Baseball and Softball and PONY World Series' social media accounts for exclusive content.

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