Outfield throw saves Dominican Republic

THE BALTIMORE SUN

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.

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.

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.

Cal Ripken World Series

Division standings

American League

Team W L

Hilo, Hawaii 3 0

Upper Montgomery, Md. 2 1

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

Egg Harbor, N.J. 2 1

Scott County, Mo. 1 2

Aberdeen 0 4

International

Mexico 4 0

Australia 2 2

Dominican Republic 2 2

Canada 1 2

South Korea 0 3

Scores, schedule

Yesterday's results

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

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.

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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