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Outfield throw saves Dominican Republic

Hector Mejias made the throw of his young life yesterday in the final inning to enable the Dominican Republic to edge South Korea, 4-3, and clinch one of the four berths from the International Division in the Cal Ripken World Series for 12-year-olds in Aberdeen.

The Dominican Republic (2-2) backed South Korea, the World Series runner-up the past three years, against the wall.

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To make it to tomorrow's single-elimination playoffs, South Korea (0-3) must defeat Canada (1-2) in today's 6 p.m. game at Ripken Stadium to advance by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Mejias cut down the potential tying run at third base in South Korea's final at-bat in the sixth inning. Down by 4-2, South Korea got a leadoff single from Jong Ho Park, and Young Gi Lee followed with a liner to right that got past Mejias.

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Park scored to make it 4-3, and Lee set sail for third base as Mejias retrieved the ball in deep right. Mejias uncorked a high-arcing throw to third baseman Cristobal Diaz Jr. Diaz put the tag on the sliding Lee for a big first out, as Jeong Hun Kim's ensuing single would have tied the game were it not for Mejias' heave.

"I've done it before, but I still don't believe it," said a beaming Mejias. "It was kind of a rainbow, but it got there, and I'm very, very happy."

The Dominican Republic had tied the game with two runs in the third after Korea got a pair in its initial at-bat. An error and RBI single by William Pichardo gave the Dominican Republic a 4-2 lead in the fourth.

Pichardo came on to face pinch hitter Seok Joo Lee after Kim's one-out single in the sixth. Kim went to second on a wild pitch, but Pichardo got Joo Lee to ground to Diaz, who checked Kim back to second before throwing to first.

Ki Sang Lee then ripped a shot at second baseman Francisco Contreras, who charged the ball and trapped the in-between hop as he slipped to his knees. He got up and had plenty of time to throw to first for the final out.

"Pichardo has not given up a run in six innings of relief in the series," coach Cristobal Diaz Sr. said of his left-hander, who preserved Jorge Zorilla's second win.

Around the horn

Former major leaguer Brian McRae arrived to conduct interviews for mlb.com and will throw out the first pitch before today's 1 p.m. game between Glen Allen, Va. (3-0) and Egg Harbor, N.J. (1-1). ... Host Aberdeen got its first hits and run in Tuesday's late 11-1 loss to South County, Mo. (1-2) after two shutouts. Conner Jones and Scott Burdick had singles, and Kevin Remines scored on an error in the fourth. ... Hilo, Hawaii (3-0) clinched a berth from the American League division with a 15-0 rout of Keene, N.H. (1-2). Jaycen-Cann Ferreira went 4-for-4 with two doubles, two triples and three RBIs.

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Cal Ripken World Series

Division standings

American League

Team W L

Hilo, Hawaii 3 0

Upper Montgomery, Md. 2 1

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Sylvan Hills, Ark. 1 2

West Linn, Ore. 1 2

Keene, N.H. 1 3

National League

Glen Allen, Va. 3 0

Lexington, Ky. 2 1

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Egg Harbor, N.J. 2 1

Scott County, Mo. 1 2

Aberdeen 0 4

International

Mexico 4 0

Australia 2 2

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Dominican Republic 2 2

Canada 1 2

South Korea 0 3

Scores, schedule

Yesterday's results

Hilo, Hawaii 15, Keene, N.H. 0

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Dominican Republic 4, South Korea 3

Mexico 14, Australia 0

Upper Montgomery 2, Sylvan Hills, Ark. 0

Egg Harbor, N.J. 21, Aberdeen 0

Today's games

West Linn, Ore. vs. Sylvan Hills, Ark., 11 a.m.

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Egg Harbor, N.J. vs. Glen Allen, Va., 1 p.m.

Scott County, Mo. vs. Lexington, Ky., 3 p.m.

Canada vs. South Korea, 6 p.m.

Upper Montgomery vs. Hilo, Hawaii, 8 p.m.


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