Sunday, August 28, 2005

Kudos to Curacao

Still winners in my book.
Hat's off to the defending Little League World Champions from Curacao who, though they lost in dramatic fashion to Hawaii yesterday, were an exciting bunch of kids to root for.

Quiet as it's kept, the tiny Caribbean nation of Curacao is a Little League superpower. They have made it to the International finals in five of the last six years, beating out well-established Japanese and Chinese teams to do so.

The Curacao team took an early 3-0 lead in the championship game, let Hawaii tie it late, then pulled ahead with two homers to make it 6-3. But they just couldn't hold the lead. In the bottom of the sixth with two outs to go they failed to turn a double play that would've ended the game and Hawaii tied them 6-6. Into extra innings they went.

Trash-talking Hawaiian pitcher Vonn Fe'au mowed down the big men (LOL, I'm talking about 11 and 12-year-olds, you know) in the Curacao lineup in the top of the 7th for a 1-2-3 inning. Throwing at 46 feet from the plate at 78mph, this man-child was hurling fastballs at the equivalent of 101mph on a Major League level.

In the bottom of the 7th, leadoff batter Michael Memea ended it with a walk-off homerun. The Curacao kids showed class, though. Instead of whining, they saluted the winners and the fans before joining their parents. There were a few tears, of course.

Only four of the Caribbean team's fourteen members will be too old to enter the tournament next year, so hopefully Curacao will get a chance to avenge their loss next year.

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