Friday, August 16, 2013

Game 3 - Mexico Dominates Australia 12-0

Dalton Chandler
From Little Leaugue By Darian Somers 
South Williamsport, PA - With the way Mexico's Brandon Meza was pitching, the team from Tijuana needed one run.

They got 12.

Meza pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings as Mexico beat Australia 12-0 in 3 1/2 innings in both teams’ opening games of the Little League Baseball® World Series at Volunteer Stadium.

"We thought he deserved it," Mexico manager Francisco Fimbres said through translator Sergio Guzman of why Fimbres used Meza for game one. "He threw a no-hitter back in regionals. We also wanted to start on a strong foot, strong step. That's why we thought he should get the ball for this game."

The left-hander allowed just two hits and struck out eight, tossing 48 pitches. Meza retired all but one of the first 11 batters he faced and the first five outs recorded by the Mexican team were strikeouts.

"I liked it very much," Meza said through Guzman. "It was a great first experience for me. I really enjoyed it."

Meza helped himself at the plate as well, going 2-for-2, driving in three runs. Meza surrendered another hit with Mexico leading 12-0 in the fourth, and Fimbres pulled him. Due to Little League® rules, Meza will have to sit out for two days, but Fimbres said he plans to keep Meza off the mound for Mexico's game with Latin America on Sunday.

"I think the strategy was based on solely he had a one-hitter going on, and we owed him the respect that he deserves," Fimbres said. "We have always treated him like that. He is a great pitcher, and he deserves that respect."

Only Australia's Chase Diggins collected hits off the left-hander Meza.

"He throws hard," Australia manager Glen Tovey said. "He has a different release point than we've seen in any pitcher. We haven’t faced a lot of left-handers."

Mexico's bats collected 10 hits in the win, scoring five runs in the second inning and seven in the third. Miguel Artalejo drove in a pair of runs, and the seven-run third included a three-run homer from Brandon Montes.

"I first have to thank my manager for him not giving me any signs at all, just telling me to swing at it, really," Montes said with a smile and a laugh through Guzman. "I was really pleased with it being a three-RBI home run. I had a lot of fun. It felt great."

Australia will face elimination in the loser's bracket against the Caribbean entry Saturday at noon, while Mexico will play the Panama team on Sunday at Volunteer at noon.

"Obviously we have a lot of things on our minds," Fimbres said of Sunday's game. "Naturally, we have to take it one thing at a time."