Hickory, Prince George's to meet in U.S. semifinal at Cal Ripken World Series

Baltimore Sun Media Group

The Hickory Hornets, Harford County's host team, suffered their first loss in Cal Ripken World Series pool play Wednesday, falling, 6-3, to West Raleigh, N.C., at Nationals Park.

Despite the loss, Hickory (3-1) will play in today's U.S. semifinals against Group A No. 1 seed Prince George's County (4-0) at 12:30 p.m. West Raleigh (4-0), the Group B No. 1 seed, will face Group A No. 2 seed Hanford, Calif., in the other U.S. semifinal at 5:30 p.m. All semifinal games are at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

The Hickory-West Raleigh game began Tuesday but was stopped in the bottom of the second inning because of heavy rain. The Southeast champion had a runner at second with no outs when play was stopped with the score tied at 1.

That runner, Paul Rider, scored the go-ahead run just a few minutes into Wednesday's action on a double by Jake DeFranco. West Raleigh scored twice more in the third for a 4-1 lead.

Hickory got a run back in the fifth when Garrett McIlhenney hit a pitch the opposite way and over the left-field wall. It was his second home run of the series.

Prince George's County 5, Danbury, Conn., 2: The Maryland champion closed out a perfect week of pool play with a win at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Javon Hernandez hit a two-run home run in the first inning to put Danbury (1-3) ahead. The lead stuck into the fourth, but Prince George's scored two to tie and added three in the fifth to win.

Noel Aristy, Jason Mackall and Ramel Washington each had one hit and one RBI for the winners.

West Raleigh 10, Denver 0: The Southeast champion (4-0) finished off pool play with a four-inning win over the Midwest Plain champion (1-3) at Cal Sr.'s Yard on a one-hitter by Carter Holjes, who got the win, and Matthew Willadsen.

Koen Moreno homered in the win, while Holjes, Garrett McCraw, Nolan McLean (2) and Paul Rider (2) all hit doubles.

Jacob Thompsen doubled in the second inning for Denver's only hit.

Meridian, Idaho, 12, Little Rock, Ark., 1: The Pacific Northwest champion (2-2) closed out pool play with a five-inning win over the Southwest champion (0-4) at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Hayden Cantrill and Braden Guerrero each had two hits and two RBIs, while Braxton Mills and Tristan Ray had a hit and two RBIs apiece.

Joey McCracken and Evan Stewart had Little Rock's two hits and Stewart scored the run.

Prince George's 5, Meridian 1: Prince George's scored a single run in the first before blowing the game open with four runs in the third at Citizens Bank Park. Noel Aristy singled in the first-inning run and then hit a two-run homer in the third, when Jack Bulger and Tremayne Cobb Jr. had RBI singles.

Gabriel Hughes, who led both teams with three hits, also had Meridian's lone RBI in the sixth. Christopher Osorio pitched five scoreless innings for the win, while Isaiah Vega, who had two hits, took the loss.

Bear, Del., 10, Denver 8: The Mid-Atlantic champion (2-2) stormed back from a 7-0 deficit and held off the Midwest Plain champion in nine innings at Citizens Bank Park.

Garrett Casey and Jakob Hoffman had RBI singles in the ninth inning to give Bear the win. Hoffman finished with three hits and five RBIs. Hoffman and Shawn Haut Jr. hit home runs for Bear, and Jarrett Weglarz had three hits.

Fisher Mahoney (two RBIs) and Nathan Dinges led Denver with three hits apiece. John Michalek (two RBIs), Caleb Monroe and Blake Beauchene each had two hits.

Bear 10, Homewood, Ill., 0: Hoffman tossed a one-hitter over five innings, striking out five batters and walking three, as the Mid-Atlantic champion routed the Ohio Valley champion (0-4) at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Bear pounded out 14 hits, six of them doubles. Hoffman homered, hit a double and drove in four runs. Noah Finocchiaro hit two doubles, while other doubles were hit by Mason Keene, Zachery Pritchard and Jarrett Weglarz.

Hanford 3, Little Rock 2: The Pacific Southwest champion needed to come from behind at Cal Sr.'s Yard to advance to today's semifinals.

Gavin Gamble ignited the last-inning rally with a bunt single. Will Springer followed with a single and Gavin Vangronigen added an infield single and on the play, an error let Gamble score and Springer and Vangronigen moved up a base.

Vince Rangel was intentionally walked to set up a force and Mathew Aguirre ended it with a single to left, scoring Springer. Aguirre homered for Hanford's other run.

Zac White led Little Rock with two hits. Rangel pitched 51/3 innings, striking out six, but Springer pitched the final two-thirds to get the win.

International pool play

Japan 6, Puerto Rico 2: Japan (4-0) claimed the top spot in Group C, defeating previously unbeaten Puerto Rico (3-1) at Nationals Park.

Puerto Rico took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a long home run from Yediel Rodriguez.

In the bottom half, Taiyo Hayashi ripped a home run to left-center field, and Japan added five more runs to close out the game.

In the international semifinals, Japan will face Group D No. 2 seed South Korea at 3 p.m. today. In the last semifinal of the night, Puerto Rico will take on Group D No. 1 seed Mexico at 8 p.m.

Mexico 13, South Korea 0: Fernando Villicana pitched a five-inning no-hitter to lead Mexico (2-2) past South Korea (2-2) at Nationals Park.

Villicana struck out nine and walked two in the win for Mexico, but he had help.

Roque Salinas homered and had a team-high three hits and four RBIs. Jesus Castillo also went deep and finished with two hits and three RBIs. Alex Ballesteros finished with two hits and three RBIs. Canada 4, Dominican Republic 2: Canada (1-3) scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and added another in the fifth to triumph over the Dominican Republic (1-3) despite just two hits at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

The game began Tuesday, and Canada led 3-1 in the first inning when rain suspended play.

Ryan McFarland had both hits for Canada, and Matthew Dobberthien scored two runs. Justin Portes had an RBI and scored a run to pace the Dominicans.

Australia 11, New Zealand 10: Australia (3-1) scored 10 runs over three innings to defeat New Zealand (0-4) in a comeback win at Nationals Park.

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