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2012 PONY League World Series

 In 2012, Champion Long Beach, California was as balanced as it was overall extremely talented. Led by Max Cauble at the plate and pitchers ERA Award Winnder Jay Rohman and Jack Williford, Long Beach thrilled the crowd with an opening 13-0 win, two wins over defending PLWS Champion Laredo, Texas and a 9-7 victory over annual contender Chinese Taipei in the Championship Game. Long Beach's title marked the 21st for the state of California, the most all-time for any state or country.

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Championship Game
Long Beach Wins PONY Championship, 9-7!
The West Zone champions powered through their division, then blasted three homeruns in the World Series Championship Game, beating Chinese Taipei, 9-7, winning their fourth PONY League World Series title, the 21st all-time for a California team.

Will Semonsen had a two-run double, followed by Spencer Steer's three-run homer, giving Long Beach a 5-0 lead in the second inning. The Asia-Pacific Zone champs responded in the bottom of the frame, tying the game. Ming Han Hu singled in one run, followed by a grand slam from Chia Lung Lai, the 39th all-time grand slam in the World Series.

Long Beach regained the lead for good in the third on Bryan Smith's pinch-hit two-run homerun to right. Spencer Steer's second homerun of the day pushed the lead to 9-5. Chih Hsuan Chang lifted a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Yu Chuan Wang's rbi single in the sixth made it a 9-7 game. The runners-up had the tying run at the plate in both the sixth and seventh innings but could get no closer. Semonsen got the win in relief of Jack Williford, tossing the final five innings.

Jay Rohman (Long Beach) won the World Series ERA Award, allowing just two earned runs in 10 innings of work, a PONY-calculated 1.40 ERA. Yu Chuan Wang (Chinese Taipei) won the PLWS Batting Title, going 14-21 in the series (.667), setting a new record for total hits.

Long Beach, CA
Chinese Taipei

Inning-by-inning recap:
1st inning
Long Beach:
Will Semonsen singled to lead off. One out later, Jacob Hughey walked. Two left on.
Ming Han Hu walked, sacrificed to second. Chih Hsuan Chang walked. Yu Chuan Wang singled to short, Hu out at third. Two left on. Chang's single set new PLWS record (13th basehit).

2nd inning
Long Beach:
With one out, Eddie Cervantes and Tanner Meckes singled, Riley Dent walked. Will Semonsen singled, driving in two runs. Spencer Steer hit a three-run homer to right, his second of the series.
Chi Liang Chiu reached on an error. After one out, Yi Kun Chu walked, Tzu Hsuan Huang was hit by a pitch. Ming Han Hu singled to left scoring Chiu. Chia Lung Lai hit a grand slam over the fence in left, tying the game. Chih Hsuan Chang singled. Will Semonsen now pitching for Long Beach. One left on.

3rd inning
Long Beach:
Jack Williford walked and gave way to pinch-runner Austin Logan. Chi Liang Chiu now pitching for Chinese Taipei. Two outs later, Bryan Smith homered to right, scoring Logan.
Three up, three down.

4th inning
Long Beach:
Will Semonsen singled to short. Spencer Steer homered, his second of the day and third of the series, scoring Semonsen. Jack Williford was hit by a pitch, then caught stealing.
Tzu Hsuan Huang was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a single by Ming Han Hu. Chia Lung Lai hit into a force play at second, runners on the corners. Chih Hsuan Chang hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Huang. One left on.

5th inning
Long Beach:
Three up, three down, all on strikeouts.
After one out, Chi Liang Chiu and Chih Kuang Wu reached on infield errors. Two left on.

6th inning
Long Beach:
After one out, Will Semonsen reached on an error. One left on.
After one out, Chia Lung Lai doubled and scored on Yu Chuan Wang's single. One left on.

7th inning
Long Beach:
Max Cauble singled, moved to second on a groundout. One left on.
Chi Liang Chiu led off with a single. One left on.

Starting Lineups:

Long Beach, California   Chinese Taipei
Will Semonsen SS
Ming Han Hu 2B
Spencer Steer 3B
Chia Lung Lai LF
Jacob Hughey 1B
Chih Hsuan Chang 3B
Max Cauble CF
Yu Chuan Wang CF
Jack Williford P
Yu Chieh Kao C
Griffin Keller LF
Chi Liang Chiu RF
Eddie Cervantes C
Yen Yu Lin P
Tanner Meckes RF
Yi Kun Chu 1B
Riley Dent 2B
Tzu Hsuan Huang SS



Game #17 "If Necessary"
Asia-Pacific Champions Oust Puerto Rico
Back-to-back wins over Caguas puts Chinese Taipei into Saturday's PONY League World Series Championship Game. Yen Yu LIn drove in three runs, including a solo homer, Yi Kun Chu plated two more and Chia Lung Lai struck out 15 batters on the way to a 10-5 win in Friday's 'If Necessary' game. Lai got the win, his third, tying a World Series record. The Asia-Pacific champions will face Long Beach in the title game (1:00 pm EDT).

Caguas took a 3-0 lead in the first. Jacob Garcia led off with a walk and stole second. Two outs later, Kelvin Robledo struck out but reached on a wild pitch. A walk and a hit batsman followed, scoring Garcia. Keneth Munoz followed with a two-run double.

Chinese Taipei got some help in their half of the first, including an error, three walks and two hit batters. Yu Chieh Kao drove in one run with a single, Yen Yu Lin and Yi Kun Chu drew bases-loaded walks, and three wild pitches made it 6-3 after one. Caguas got two rbi from Yadiel Fonseca in the middle innings, pulling the Caribbean champions within 7-5. Yen Yu Lin homered to open the fith, then hit a run-scoring groundout in the sixth, followed by Yi Kun Chu's rbi double to close the scoring.

Chia Lung Lai was charged with all five runs on seven hits, striking out 15 Caguas batters. Lai, who is not eligible to pitch Saturday, finished the World Series with three wins and 30 strikeouts.

Milton Reyes, who took the loss, couldn't get out of the first inning, though he could have been treated to a better fate. All six runs in the first were unearned, enabled by a mis-step by the shortstop on a likely double-play ball. The wheels fell off from there. Reyes, who did not allow an earned run in 7.2 innings of work, would have won the PLWS ERA title had he gotten out of the inning, needing 8 complete innings to qualify.

Gonzalez finished the game with two doubles, Fonseca had two hits and two rbi. Chi Liang Chiu had two hits for Chinese Taipei. Yu Chuan Wang singled in the sixth, his 12th WS basehit, tying the all-time record.

Game #16 "Division Finals"
Long Beach Rolls to PLWS Finals
Max Cauble and Spencer Steer homered leading Long Beach, CA to a 13-4 win over Laredo, TX, eliminating the defending champions from the PONY League World Series.

After the South Zone champions scored an unearned run in the first, Long Beach plated three in the bottom of the inning and four more in the fourth. Jacob Hughey's single tied the game in the first, then a couple stolen bases, a wild pitch and a passed ball put the West Zone squad in front to stay. Steer delivered a run-scoring single in the second. After an error, Cauble's blast, his third of the series, capped the inning, putting Long Beach up 7-1.

Winning pitcher Jay Rohman (2-0) took a no-hitter into the fourth inning before Jerry Avila homered well over the right-field fence. Laredo scored on an error and a Alan Campero groundout to pull to within 7-4 in the fifth. Long Beach scored six times in the bottom of the inning to put the game away. Rohman, who finished with three hits, Riley Dent and Will Semonsen (two singles) drove in runs before Steer's two-run homer closed the scoring.

Campero took the loss for Laredo, allowing seven runs in 1.2 innings. Rohman was charged with four runs, two earned, on two hits, five walks and seven strikeouts. Long Beach advances to the PONY League World Series championship game Saturday against the winner of Friday's Chinese Taipei / Caguas, PR "If Necessary" game.

Game #15 Division Finals
Taipei Smothers Caguas, Forces "If Necessary" Game
Three Chinese Taipei pitchers combined on a two-hitter as the Asia-Pacific champions stayed alive with a 12-0 win over Caguas, PR.

Chia Lung Lai (2-0) got the win, allowing just one hit over the first three innings. Meanwhile, last year's runnerup squad scored three unearned runs in the first. In the third, Yu Chieh Kao, Yen Yu Lin and Yi Kun Chu drove in runs with hits. Chinese Taipei added one run in the sixth and four more in the seventh. Meanwhile, Caguas never got a runner past second base.

In the third inning, Yu Chuan Wang doubled, giving him nine consecutive basehits, tying a PONY World Series record. Wang finished with three hits in the game, along with Ming Han Hu. Wei An Wang doubled in the seventh. Chi Liang Chiu pitched three innings of one-hit ball and Chih Hsuan Chang threw a clean seventh inning. Caguas starter Yadiel Fonseca took the loss, allowing seven runs in 2.1 innings.

The two teams meet Friday in this division's If Necessary game, starting at 5:30 pm.

Game #14* Forfeited by Paderborn, Germany

Game #13
Chinese Taipei to Division Final

Yi Kun Chu hit a first-inning grand slam, part of a seven-run outburst as Chinese Taipei beat Bay County, MI, 11-0, Wednesday night at the PONY League World Series.

Three pitchers combined to hold Bay County to just two hits and two other baserunners in the five-run game. Three straight singles, two errors and a walk had Chinese Taipei up 3-0 with the bases loaded when Chu drove an Aaron Rodriguez fastball well over the leftfield fence, the 38th grand slam in the 61-year history of the PONY World Series.

Yu Chuan Wang hit a solo homerun in the second, part of a three-hit night. Ming Han Hu drew a bases loaded walk in the third, followed by Chia Lung Lai's two-run single, putting PONY's 10-run rule into effect. Bay County never got a runner to second base in the game, and only two batters reached first after Chinese Taipei pushed the lead to double digits. Yen Yu Lin (1-1) pitched three innings to get the win, allowing both Bay County singles. Tzu Hsuan Huang and Chi Liang Chiu worked the final two innings.

The Asia-Pacific champions will take on unbeaten Caguas, PR in Thursday's Division Finals. Chinese Taipei has to beat the Caribbean squad twice to make the PONY Championship game on Saturday.

Game #12
Long Beach vs. Paderborn Cancelled; Germany Withdraws from PLWS

After winning the European Zone championship, Paderborn, Germany accepted an invitation to the IABF World Cup in Mexico.

After beginning play in the World Series, officials from Paderborn informed PONY President Abe Key that they would be leaving Washington on Wednesday morning. With several games already played in the division, it was decided to continue the format and that Paderborn would forfeit any game after Tuesday night.

When heavy rains delayed the start of the Laredo/Guasave game by 90 minutes, it became impossible to play the scheduled Long Beach/Paderborn contest, it was determined that Long Beach would advance to the Division Final by forfeit over the European champion.

Game #11
Ortiz Nearly Perfect in No-Hitter

Pablo Ortiz threw a complete game no-hitter as Laredo, TX, the defending World Series champions, eliminated Guasave, MX, 8-0.

The righthander took a perfect game two outs into the final inning before walking Juan Acuna on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. Only one Guasave hitter, the game's leadoff batter, got the ball out of the infield. Ortiz struck out seven, handled six comebackers and a put-out at first.

Meanwhile, the Laredo offense erupted for all six runs in the second, chasing starter and losing pitcher Martin Flores from the mound. Ricky Villarreal drove in a pair with a single, then scored on Alan Campero's basehit. Damian Rodriguez, who singled in a run in the first, tripled home Rodriguez, then scored on Jerry Avila's groundout. Ruben Carillo led off the third with a solo homerun to close the scoring.

Laredo (1-1) advances to Thursday's Division Finals against unbeaten Long Beach, CA (2-0). The Texans would have to beat the West Zone champs twice to earn a berth in the World Series Final.

Game #10
Key Hits Lead Caguas to Division Final
Caguas, PR got clutch, run-scoring hits in a four-run third and the decisive six-run fifth inning on the way to a 12-7 win over Bay County, MI Monday night.

The victory puts the unbeaten Caribbean champions into Thursday Division Final. Trailing 2-1 with the bases loaded and two out, Hernandez doubled down the left field line, driving in three run. After Bay County took the lead back with three unearned runs, Caguas sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth. A single and a walk chased starter and loser Austin Koin. An infield single loaded the bases. An error brought in one run. Kelvin Robledo's infield hit drove in a second.

Jonny Guzman's pinch hit single made it 8-5 before Jacob Garcia doubled to push the lead to 10-5. Kristopher Gonzalez homered and Garcia later walked with the bases loaded for close the scoring for Caguas.

Gage Zielinski's pinch-hit homer and CJ Glaza's rbi single finished the tallying for Bay County. The North Zone champions were set to plate a bunch of runs in the second and third but each inning ended on a lineout double play.

Caguas starter Leswill Vellon got the win despite allowing five runs over four innings. Guzman pitched the final three innings. Koin was ultimately charged with six runs on five hits and five walks, three of which scored. Garcia had two doubles for Caguas. Luis Nieves and Robledo each had two hits, as did Gonzalez. Tony Robbins had three hits for Bay County, including a double.

The North Zone squad plays Chinese Taipei Wednesday in an elimination game. That winner gets another shot at Caguas, needing to win twice of the Caribbeans to make the championship game.

Game #9
Taipei Ousts New Bedford
Back-to-back rbi hits for Chinese Taipei in the third gave the Asia-Pacific champions a lead they would never surrender, scoring an 8-2 win over New Bedford, MA in an elimination game at the PONY League World Series.

With the score tied at 1 and Chich Hsuan Chang at first, Yu Chuan Wang doubled to right driving in one run, then scored on Yu Chieh Kao singled to make it 3-1. A hit-batter, stolen base and two wild pitches in the sixth pushed the lead to 4-1. New Bedford loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the frame but couldn't score. Chich Hsuan Chang relieved starter Chia Lung Lai and got a comebacker to end the threat. Chinese Taipei put the game away with four runs in the top of the seventh, including an rbi double by Chih Hsuan Chang and a run-scoring single by Yu Chan Wang.

Chia Lung Lai got the win, allowing just one run and three hits over 5.2 innings of work. Chih Hsuan Chang earned a save. New Bedford starter Mike Devlin took the loss, charged with six earned run and nine hits. Yu Chuan Wang had four hits, three rbi. Ming Han Hu added two singles for Taipei, advancing to Wednesday's action against Bay County. Alvin Gonzalez homered for New Beford. Jeremiah Adams inished the tournament 5-10 (.500) at the plate, currently the highest qualifying batting average.

Game #8
Mexico Ousts Host Washington
A five-run fourth inning proved just enough for Guasave, Mexico to beat Washington, PA, 6-5, Sunday night at the PONY League World Series.

The loss eliminates the host team from the tournament. With two out, nobody on in the top of the decisive inning, Guasave drew two walks, plus an infield error to load the bases. Edwin Valle doubled to score two runs, and three more errors plated three more. Washington scored once in the fifth on an rbi grounder by Blake Rohrbacher, but had the bases loaded with one out and didn't score again.

Then, in the sixth, with the bases loaded again, Tyler Denman singled home one run to make it 6-3. But on the player, the runner from second fell rounding third and was tagged out trying to get back to the base. Evan McDaniel followed with a two-run double, but was stranded at second. Alonxo Villarreal got the win for Guasave, despite giving up five runs on 9 hits over 5.2 innings of work. Eduardo Torres relieved Vallarreal after the McDaniel double and retired the last four Washington batters in order to pick up the save.

Guy Markley took the loss, but only one of the six runs he was charged with was earned. Guasave plays Laredo, TX in Tuesday's elimination round. Samuel Zamudio had two hits for the Mexico champions, including an rbi double in the second. McDaniel had three hits for Washington, two doubles, and won the Voytek Memorial Award for Washington's best average in the World Series. Denman and Chris Gouin also had two hits apiece.

Game #7
New Bedford Eliminates Johnstown
Matt Craig tossed three shutout innings of relief and New Bedford erupted for five runs in the fifth as the East Zone champions eliminated Johnstown, PA, 10-6, Sunday at the PONY League World Series.

In a see-saw contest, New Bedford twice came from two runs down to stay alive in the bracket. Johnstown took a 2-0 lead in the first, scoring twice on an error at the plate. Craig hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning, putting NB in front by one. Josh Wagner doubled and scored on Tanner Polinski's single to tie it in the second.

After an unearned run gave New Beford a 4-3 lead, the Host Area champions scored three runs in the fourth. Wagner doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Polinski. Luke Dividock walked, stole second and scored on Jake Buchanan's single. Buchanan then stole second, third and home, tying a World Series record for steals in one inning. New Bedford took advantage of another unearned run to pull to within 6-5.

Craig took over on the mound for starter Justin Gonzalez and held Johnstown to one baserunner over the final three innings. In the bottom of the fifth, after one out, Andrew Rapoza doubled home two runs, Jason Rivera scored on a wild pitch and Jeremiah Adams stroked a two-run home run to close the scoring. Craig allowed just one hit while striking out four. Connor Christner was charged with the loss, allowing seven run over 3+ innings of relief .Rapoza had three hits for New Bedford, including a double.

Nick Richard doubled twice for the East Zone champs who advance to play Chinese Taipei Monday night. Wagner had two doubles for Johnstown, Buchanan added two singles.

Game #6
Long Beach Edges Laredo

Max Cauble homered in the third, putting Long Beach up 2-0, and winning pitcher Jack Williford made it stand up, striking out seven along the way as the West Zone champions beat defending World Series champion Laredo, TX, 2-1.

The homerun is Cauble's second of the World Series. Williford opened the scoring after being hit by a pitch in the second. He went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a groundout and scored on Eddie Cervantes single to center. Laredo got on the board with a run in the fourth. Jerry Avila doubled, stole third and scored two outs later on a Pablo Ortiz basehit. Avila doubled with one out in the sixth, putting the tying run in scoring position with one out but Williford slammed the door, getting two strikeouts and three come-backers to end the game.

Williford allowed seven hits but did not walk a batter while striking out seven. Alan Campero took the loss, allowing two runs and five hits, striking out eight. Avila had three hits, two doubles, for Laredo. Damian Rodriguez added a double for the South Zone champions who drop into Tuesday's elimination bracket. Riley Dent had two hits, including a double, for Long Beach. The West Zone winners take on Paderborn, Germany in the Winners' Bracket final Tuesday night.

Game #5
Caguas Wins on Walk-Off Homer

Jan Hernandez homered to rightcenter with two out in the seventh leading Caguas, PR to a walkoff, 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei.

Trailing 1-0 in the last inning, Yadiel Fonseca reached on an infield single after two out. Hernandez hit the first pitch he saw over the fence, igniting a celebration in one dugout and leaving the Asia-Pacific fans stunned.

Milton Reyes got the complete-game winning, allowing only five hits and one unearned run. Yen Yu Lin was the tough-luck loser having allowed just one hit and through six innings, holding Caguas to just two batters over the minimum before the final frame.

Yen struck out 11 batters in the gam.. Chinese Taipei scored their only run in the first. After two out, Tzu Hsuan Chang reached on an error, scoring one batter later on Yu Chieh Kao's base hit. Caguas moves to the Winners' Bracket Final Monday night against Bay County, MI. Chinese Taipei faces an elimination game Monday.

Game #4
Paderborn Scores First-Ever Win

Michael Kaiserauer's last-inning bunt single scored the winning run as Paderborn, Germany claimed a 2-1 win over host Washington, PA.

The European's are making a first-ever appearance at the PONY League World Series. Winning pitcher Sascha Koch struck out 17 Washington batters but his team trailed 1-0 into the sixth inning. Victor Voll walked, stole second and scored on Koch's groundball single up the middle.

Jonathan Heimler started the winning rally in the seventh, reaching base on a fielding error and moving up on two throwing miscues. One out later, Kaiserauer's bunt up the first base line scored the game-winner. Washington's only run came off a solo homer by Blake Rohrbacher.

Chris Gouin took the loss despite allowing just five hits and two walks. Paderborn advances to the Winners' Bracket final Tuesday night. Washington faces Guasave, Mexico in Sunday's elimination round.

Game #3
Long Beach Blasts Way to Win

Four homeruns, including a grand slam, powered Long Beach, CA to a 13-0, five-inning victory over Guasave, Mexico, in PONY World Series first-round action.

Jacob Hughey's walk-off grand slam, his second homer of the day, ended the game, giving him seven rbi. Hughey's two-run single in the first inning opened the scoring. Jay Rohman pitched five shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks. Rohman also hit a solo homerun in the second inning, pushing the lead to 4-0. Max Cauble hit a two-run shot in the fourth. Spencer and Jack Williford added doubles for Long Beach.

The West Zone champions advance to play Laredo, TX Sunday afternoon. Guasave starter Eduardo Torres took the loss, giving up six runs in 2.1 innings of work. The Mexico champions will face elimination Sunday night against Washington.

Game #2
Bay County Beats Johnstown

Brady Leppek homered and Aaron Rodriguez tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout as Bay County, MI, beat Johnstown, PA, 3-0, at the PONY League World Series.

Rodriguez stuck out nine and walked three while allowing just three singles to the Host Area champions. Leppek's homerun opened the second and the 1-0 score stood until the North Zone champs got two insurance markers in the sixth, one on an error, the other on Leppek's rbi single. Tyler Wiechec had a double for Bay County, off now until Monday night's Winners' Bracket final against either Caguas, PR or Chinese Taipei.

Jake Buchanan took the loss for Johnstown despite allowing just two earned runs on six hits over six innings. Johnstown faces New Bedford, MA in Sunday evening's first elimination game.

Game #1
Caguas Wins World Series Opener
Yadiel Fonseca tossed a complete game four-hitter and homered, leading Caguas, PR to a 5-2 win over New Bedford, MA in the opening game of the 2012 PONY League World Series.

The righthander retired 13 of the last 14 New Bedford batters, allowing only a lead-off walk in the fifth. Fonseca struck out nine and walked two.
Jeremiah Adams doubled home one run in the the NB first, then doubled and scored in the third, giving the East Zone champions a 2-1 lead. Fonseca's homer opened the Caguas' fourth, tying the game. The last three runs for the Caribbean champions scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, and an error in the sixth. Jan Hernandez and Miguel Velazquez each had two hits for Caguas.

Mike Devlin took the loss despite striking out ten batters, The start of the game was delayed 32 minutes by a downpour just before the scheduled first pitch. New Bedford drops to Sunday's elimination round against Johnstown, PA. Caguas moves on to a Saturday night matchup with Asia-Pacific champion Chinese Taipei.

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