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17

Aug, 2017

Covina, California wins Pony World Series

It was a sensational championship game at the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series last night at historic Lew Hays PONY Field in Washington, Pennsylvania, as West Zone Champion Covina, California made a miraculous come back to defeat Asia-Pacific Zone Champion Seoul, Korea 3-1 in eight innings. The titled marked Covina's third in Pony League World Series history (1975 & 1999), the state of California's 22nd and the PONY West Zone's 25th overall.

Championship Game recap: Covina, California 3 Seoul, Korea 1 (F/8)

West Zone Champion Covina, California's James Jimenez rose to the occasion Wednesday night and saved his best performance for last in a 3-1 victory over Asia-Pacific Zone Champion Seoul, Korea in eight innings. Not only did Jimenez pitch seven innings and strike out nine, but he also smashed the go-ahead and eventual game-winning two-run home run in the top of the eighth to crown Covina the 2017 DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series Champions.

Coming into the game, it was the fourth-consecutive time that teams from PONY's West and Asia-Pacific Zones were pitted against each other in the title game, so fans at Lew Hays PONY Field were primed for a classic. Through six complete innings, it proved to be true, as the game remained 1-0 in favor of Seoul. Korea’s lone offense came when Kim Min-Hyuk doubled in Bae Hun-Jun making it 1-0 in the bottom of the first.

In the top seventh inning, staring elimination in the eyes, Covina's Hector Bautista saved the game for the Californians when he hit a shot through the middle that allowed Joshua Logan to score from second and tie the game at one.

In the top of the eighth, with Parker Miramontez on base and a 2-1 count, Jimenez crushed a ball to right center field that just escaped the park to give Covina its first lead of the ball game.

Seoul made one last effort to take the lead back in the bottom of the eighth, as three singles loaded the bases with two outs. Covina turned to Anthony Rasmussen, who earned a well-deserved save on five pitches, after recording a fly out to end the game.

Jimenez went seven strong innings for Covina, allowing just one earned run on four hits and a walk, while striking out nine. Jimenez became the 24th pitcher to win three games in a single Pony League World Series and the first since 2012. Lee Young Jun was very effective for Seoul as well, as he went five innings, allowing no runs on three hits, while striking out four.

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