Trevor Gott lets his arm do his talking.
The right-hander struck out nine in three innings, didn't give up a hit and walked one to lead Southeast Lexington, Ky., to a 2-0 victory over West Raleigh, N.C., in a matchup of 2-0 teams in the Cal Ripken 12-and-under World Series in Aberdeen yesterday.
"I just don't like to talk, but, yes, I expected it to be a good game with them," said the shy Gott, who kept his head down as he barely responded, though several of his teammates were standing around him.
The win clinched a berth out of the American Division for Friday's single-elimination playoffs.
Gott, who has pitched in all three wins by Southeast Lexington, was eligible to throw three innings yesterday, and manager Kenny Gant had him pitch the first, fourth and sixth. He switched back and forth with Steve Hoagland at shortstop.
In eight innings over three games, Gott has struck out 20, mixing a knuckleball and curve with his fastball. He struck out the side in the first and final innings yesterday and struck out the first batter he faced in the fourth before issuing a walk and then striking out the last two.
First baseman Devin Jackson, who singled in the game's only runs in the fourth inning, said of his teammate: "Trevor is very humble. He doesn't talk much around us, either."
Southeast Lexington center fielder Scott McCamy provided another highlight with a diving catch of a drive by West Raleigh's B.J. Brown leading off the bottom of the fifth.
Meanwhile, defending champion Mexico improved to 2-0 with a 10-0 victory over Australia (2-1) in four innings per the mercy rule in an International Division game.
Seeking its third consecutive World Series title, Mexico has not lost a game in three trips to Aberdeen, running off 16 consecutive wins.
Manuel Paez pitched a two-hitter with seven strikeouts as Mexico took advantage of control problems by the Australian pitchers to post its second straight shutout.
As good as Mexico has looked in two games, Bernardo Tapia, who has managed all three teams in the series, is a little skeptical about this year's version.
"Honestly, this team is not as good as the other two teams we've brought here," Tapia said through an interpreter. "Everybody thinks we are really good and that makes me a little nervous, but one day we have to lose."
NOTES: Yesterday's rain caused delays and a couple of late starts, but didn't force the postponement of any games. ... Oahu, Hawaii, went to 3-0 in the National Division by routing Meridian, Miss. (1-2), 12-0, clinching a playoff berth. ... The Canada-Korea game was suspended because of darkness with the score tied at 6 after eight innings. It will resume at 11 this morning.
Ripken World Series
W L Pct. GB
SE Lexington, Ky. 3 0 1.000 -
West Raleigh, N.C. 2 1 .666 1
Bronx, N.Y. 2 1 .666 1
Jackson, Mo. 0 2 .000 2 1/2
Hickory Fountain Green 0 3 .000 3
W L Pct. GB
Oahu, Hawaii 3 0 1.000 -
Willamette Valley, Ore. 2 1 .666 1
Meridian, Miss. 1 2 .333 2
Calvert County 1 2 .333 2
Marblehead, Mass. 0 2 .000 2 1/2
W L Pct. GB
Mexico 2 0 1.000 -
Australia 2 1 .666 1/2
Canada 1 1 .500 1
Dominican Republic 1 2 .333 1 1/2
South Korea 0 2 .000 2
Round-robin format; games played at Cal Sr.'s Yard (C), Memorial field (M) and Wrigley field (W)
Australia 7, South Korea 4 Bronx, N.Y. 8, Hickory Fountain Green 2 Willamette Valley, Ore. 7, Meridian, Miss. 1 Canada 5, Dominican Republic 3 Calvert County 6, Marblehead, Mass. 4 West Raleigh, N.C. 10, Jackson, Mo. 0
Oahu, Hawaii 12, Meridian, Miss. 0 SE Lexington, Ky. 2, West Raleigh, N.C. 0 Mexico 10, Australia 0 (4 innings) Willamette Valley, Ore. 11, Calvert County 0 (4 innings) Canada vs. South Korea, suspended in 9th inning with score 6-6 (game will be resumed today at 11 a.m.)
Canada vs. South Korea, 11 a.m. (W) Jackson, Mo. vs. Hickory Fountain Green, noon (M) Mexico vs. Canada, 1 p.m. (W) Willamette Valley, Ore. vs. Marblehead, Mass., 2:30 p.m. (M) Australia vs. Dominican Republic, 4 p.m.(W) Raleigh, N.C. vs. Bronx, N.Y., 5 p.m. (M)