Photo courtesy of Molly Campbell, Bridgewater College/WSTI
WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania - Day five of the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series began with Los Mochis, Mexico meeting up with Chesterfield, Virginia in the first of the morning's two elimination games.
Despite being 10-runned by Chinese Taipei, Chesterfield kept its head up and sparked the bats right away in the first inning, when center fielder Jay Woolfolk singled and drove in first baseman Jaelen Hines, making the score 1-0.
The theme of no lead is safe in the tournament proved true again, when in the bottom of the first, Los Mochis second baseman Jair Felix and first baseman Rigoberto Borbolla hit back-to-back home runs, taking over the lead. Felix's home run was a two-run shot and drove in catcher Jose Roman. Borbolla's home run was a solo home run to right field, making the game 3-0.
Los Mochis added on in the third inning when center fielder Alejandro Cervantes contributed an RBI single, scoring catcher Brayan Guerrero, and then Cervantes scored on a wild pitch the next batter after a wild pitch by Chesterfield starting pitcher Tyler Garner. After three innings the lead was now 5-1 for Los Mochis.
Chesterfield cut the deficit in the top of the fourth, when Garner regained the two runs he allowed in the third with a two-run home run, cutting the lead to 5-3. Garner didn't take the mound after the home run and his day on the mound ended after allowing five runs, all earned, four hits, two walks and four strikeouts over three innings.
Los Mochis had little time adjusting to Chesterfield's relief pitcher Andrew Weight as it drove three runs across in the fourth. Roman doubled in a pair and Borbolla added an RBI double as well, scoring Roman, giving Los Mochis an 8-3 lead.
Chesterfield countered right back in the top of the fifth when Ethan Iannuzzi singled in Jay Woolfolk and Garner belted his second home run of the game, to center field, cutting the lead to 8-6.
After allowing runners to reach on a walk and single after the home run, Valenzuela's day ended on the mound, allowing six runs, all earned, ten hits, four walks and three strikeouts in four and two-thirds innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, Los Mochis added two more runs by way of another two RBI double off the bat of Roman to extend the lead to 10-6.
Woolfolk collected his fourth hit in the sixth, when he took Los Mochis reliever Maximiliano Campos deep for a solo home run cutting the lead to 10-7. Los Mochis added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Diego Miranda drove in Cervantes on an RBI single making the score 11-7.
Campos shut down Chesterfield in the top of the seventh to win the game for Los Mochis, 11-7. Despite a two home run game, Garner picked up the loss and Valenzuela got the win.
In relief, Campos gave up one earned run, one hit, two walks and three strikeouts. Weight and Connelly Early combined in relief for Chesterfield, allowing a six runs, all earned, seven hits, two walks and a strikeout in three innings combined.
With the victory, Los Mochis moves on to face Chinese Taipei in a rematch of Game #5 at 5:30 tonight in Game #15. For Chesterfield, its run for the 2016 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series championship comes to an end after a 14-4 victory over Johnstown, a 10-0 defeat against Chinese Taipei and today's loss to Los Mochis. Woolfork finished the tournament tied for the PONY League World Series record for best batting average in a tournament (.800, eight-for-10). Woolfork tied Pasadena, Texas's Eric Carlisle's record set in 1990.