Bel Air team drops opener to North Carolina in Ripken World Series play Saturday

- Play in the 2011 Ripken Major/70 World Series youth baseball tournament began Saturday at the Ripken Baseball Complex in Aberdeen, but a pair of heavy rainstorms meant delayed starts and two of the day's games couldn't be completed.

The Bel Air Braves, the tournament's Harford County host team, suffered a tough loss in one of the evening games.

First day winners included Hawaii, Dominican Republic, Kentucky, Japan and North Carolina.

The game between Mexico and Australia, was suspended because of darkness in the third inning at Fenway Park with Mexico leading, 8-1. The game and will be finished Sunday, weather permitting.

After another long and heavy rain, Saturday's final scheduled game was halted in the bottom of the third inning at Cal Sr.'s Yard. Maryland champion Charles County was holding a 4-2 lead with Southwest champ Tri-Counties, Texas batting with two outs and no one on base.

The game will resume at Cal Sr.'s Yard Sunday at 10 a.m.

Charles County was staked to a quick 3-0 lead in its first at bat when Bryce Nicolau blasted a long three-run home run to left field.

Texas answered back with two runs in its half of the first. Andrew Dvorak singled and scored on a wild pitch and Ty Condel picked up a RBI when he drew a bases loaded walk.

Nicolau added the fourth run for Charles County in the third, stealing third and scoring on a errant throw by the catcher.

Bel Air team hangs tough but loses

In National Division action, Harford County's representatives, the Bel Air Braves, fought hard in their first game of the tournament, holding the Southeast team from Raleigh, N.C. to a single run four the first four innings. In the end it was not enough, as the host--team Braves went down 3-0 at Cal Sr.'s Yard on Saturday night.

The game was originally slated to start at 5 p.m., but was delayed nearly three hours because of the heavy rains.

Raleigh's bats stayed silent until the third inning, when it posted a single run. The visitors broke loose in the fifth inning, scoring twice to put up a 3-0 lead, enough for the win.

Andrew Brndjar started for the Braves and hung tough for 4-1/3 frames, holding Raleigh to four hits and one earned run over that stretch, while striking out one and allowing no walks.

Zach DeLuise closed out the game for Bel Air with 1-2/3 innings of no-hit ball, striking out four and walking two batters.

Ryan Neuberger and Carter Poulsen each rapped out a single in the loss, which were the Braves' only hits.

Kyle Gensler led the Raleigh offense, going 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Jonathan D'Ercole had two hits and one RBI in the victory, while teammate Jacob Gregory scored once.

Gensler made the start for Raleigh and went three innings, striking out one, walking none and holding the Braves to a pair of hits. D'Ercole worked through three innings in relief, racking up two strikeouts and walking three.

Hawaii drops New Hampshire

Propelled by a 10-run first inning outburst, Pacific Southwest champion Oahu, Hawaii beat New England champ Hudson, New Hampshire, 12-2, in four innings at Cal Sr's Yard in the first American Pool contest.

Kaimana Soiuza-Paaluhi led the Oahu 12-hit attack with three hits in as many trips to the plate.

Dustin Imanaka, Nicolas Benner and Kohl Suehiro each had two hits, with Imanaka and Suehiro also driving in two runs apiece. Blaine Demello also drove in two runs and had one of four Oahu doubles.

Michael Simard and Daniel McCrystal had RBI singles for Hudson, which scored single runs in the first and third innings.

Hawaii's Ryne Yamashiro pitched all four innings for the win, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out four.

Hudson starter Matthew McKinley recorded just one out, yielding 10 runs (nine earned) on seven hits and two walks. Dean LaMothe pitched three plus innings in relief.

Dominicans beat Koreans

Oscar Vergez (two RBIs) homered and doubled and Yasser Castillo (three RBIs) doubled three times to lead the Dominican Republic over the Republic of Korea, 11-1, in four innings Citizens Bank Park. The International pool game was originally scheduled forWrigley Field.

Dominican pitcher Huascar Inoa tossed a four-inning no-hitter, striking out 11 and walking two. One of those walks, to Keon Choi, came around to score Korea's lone run in the second inning.

Jong Kim pitched two innings, allowing five hits and eight earned runs, in taking the loss. Won Park pitched an inning plus in relief.

Kentucky beats New York

In the first game of the National Division's bracket, which pitted the Ohio Valley representatives against the Mid-Atlantic squad, Lexington, Ky., knocked off Clifton Park, N.Y., 5-1, at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

The contest did not start until 1:15 p.m., more than an hour late.

The winners were quick out of the gate, scoring three times in the opening frame before Clifton Park could escape the inning. Lexington followed with one run in the second, then scored its final tally in the third.

Lexington hurler Austin Dick was nearly untouchable, cruising through five innings in which he surrendered just two hits, struck out seven, and issued no walks.

Aidan Elias came in relief in the sixth inning and allowed Clifton Park's lone run before closing out the game.

Elias recorded four strikeouts his one inning of work, as one of his punchouts got by the Lexington catcher, and the Clifton Park hitter was able to reach first base.

Lexington's Dick was as potent at the plate as he was on the mound, going 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and one RBI.

Kainen Bibb went 2-for-3 and scored one run in the victory, while teammate C.J. Bush was 1-for-3 with a two-RBI double and one run scored.

Mike Jeffers was the only Clifton Park batter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3.

Marty McCrudden drew one walk and scored the losing side's lone run, while Kevin Huerter had a double in the loss.

Japan swamps Canada

Despite rain delays of an hour and 43 minutes to start and an hour and a half in the third inning, Japan easily defeated Canada, 31-1, in four innings at Nationals Park in the first International Pool game of the series.

The game was scheduled for play at Fenway Park, but the first round of rain pushed the action to the partial turf field of Nationals Park.

Japan put the game away in its first at bat, plating 10 runs on seven hits and five Canada errors. Taisei Takeoka was the lone Japanese player to have two hits in the inning.

Japan tacked on two runs in the second on a Takumi Okada two-run home run and then added five more runs in the third on four hits, four walks and two Canada errors.

When play resumed after the second rain delay, Japan had its biggest inning of the contest, sending 17 batters to the plate for 13 more runs.

Kosuke Nagata capped the inning with a three-run homer and Japan had 10 hits in the inning. Nagata and Kazuki Sakurai, each had two hits in the inning.

Canada's lone run came across in the bottom of the first with leadoff hitter Jax Mullin drawing a walk, stealing second and third and on the steal of third, the Japan catcher's throw sailed into left field, allowing Mullin to score.

Canada had just one hit, a ground ball single by Hunter Hughes with two outs in the second inning.

Ryoken Nakanishi pitched one inning to get the win and three others also saw mound action for Japan. Hudson MacMillan was also one of four Canada pitchers, making the start and taking the loss.

Keep checking back with for game updates and scores today and throughout the 2011 Ripken Major/70 World Series.

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