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Aug, 2017

Pony World Series day five recap

With spots in the 66th annual DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series Championship Game on the line to begin the day Tuesday, the remaining competing teams were ready to give it their all. Both, Host Area Champion Youngstown, Ohio and North Zone Champion Bay County, Michigan couldn't secure decisive victories, as both East Zone Champion Hagerstown, Maryland and South Zone Champion Brownsville, Texas clawed and fought to keep their title hopes alive, but ultimately lost. While, in the division finals, the two undefeated squads, Asia-Pacific Zone Champion Seoul, Korea and West Zone Champion Covina, California rolled to 10-run victories to advance to the championship game.

Game #13 recap: Youngstown, Ohio 9 Hagerstown, Maryland 7

East Zone Champion Youngstown, Ohio used nine runs in the first two innings to hold off Hagerstown’s nearly-dramatic comeback bid and advance to a win-or go-home matchup Tuesday evening, after a 9-7 victory.

In the top of the first, Youngstown picked up a double and a single to open the contest, before an error by Hagerstown’s Corey Jamison, attempting to catch Trey Pancake stealing, sailed to the outfield making it 1-0. Shawn Helpy continued the inning with an RBI single to right field, which additionally set up a run down at second, as Howard scored to make it 3-0. Brandon Mikos, a late addition to the lineup due to injury, doubled to left-center field, scoring Helpy and giving Youngstown a 4-0 lead after the top half of the first.

In the top of the second, Youngstown opened with back-to-back singles, spelling the early end of the morning on the mound for Josh Black. Relieving Black in second was Tyler Crain, who allowed a bunt hit to Pancake to load the bases, an RBI single to Ty Ventresco and a two-RBI double to Ronnie Howard to make it 7-0. Starting pitcher Luke Gehring followed the strikeout with a two-RBI double to left field, expanding the Host Area lead to 9-0.

Hagerstown managed to get the offense going in the bottom of the third when Jamison doubled down the left-field line, scoring both Michael Keats and Parker Martin to make it 9-2 after three innings.

The East Zone Champions were right back at it in the bottom of the fourth, when Cam Moats belted a two-run home run to straightaway center field, cutting the Youngstown lead down to 9-4 after four innings. Hagerstown continued to cut the deficit, as Kyle West scored on a wild pitch. Bradley Summers then connected with an RBI double to left-center field and Black notched an RBI single to make it 9-7 at the end of five.

Hagerstown had one last chance in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game and after a groundout to start the inning, Josh Crampton doubled to right field, setting up a runner in scoring position. Unfortunately for Hagerstown, the final two batters both struck out to end the game.

The victory for Youngstown goes to Gehring, allowing seven runs (all earned), six hits, three walks and twelve strikeouts over five innings. Kreuzweiser picked up the six out save, allowing no runs, one hit, two walks and four strikeouts over two innings.

The loss sent Hagerstown home after a 1-2 showing in the 2017 DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series. Youngstown's win moved the Host Area Champions into a matchup against Seoul, Korea in the division finals Monday evening.



Game #14 recap: Youngstown, Ohio 9 Hagerstown, Maryland 7

North Zone Champion Bay County, Michigan used a three-run first and fourth inning to hold off a South Zone Champion Brownsville, Texas comeback attempt to survive and advance to the division finals, after an 8-5 victory.

In the top of the first, Bay County’s offense wasted no time against Brownsville starter Javier Hinojosa, as the team loaded the bases with no outs.
Luke Savage saw a runner cross the plate on a wild pitch. Savage then reached on an error, earning an RBI when Brenden Bonnell scored, but the error cost a second RBI to Savage’s total when Logan Hugo scored on the same play due to the error, making it 3-0 Bay County.

After another Bay County single, Hinojosa was relieved by Jose Banda with two outs in the bottom of the first and Banda inherited two of Hinojosa’s runners, but picked up the strikeout to limit the damage to just three runs. Bay County added another run in the bottom of the third with two outs on a wild pitch by Banda, scoring Bryce Fredenburg to make it 4-0.

Brownsville found itself on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth when Honelio Leal doubled in Rafael Parra, before being thrown out, after over-running second base, making the score 4-1. Darren Ramirez hit an RBI single, driving in Rene Sanchez from second. Blake Waibel relieved starter Grant Horner, and Waibel immediately issued a walk to Derrick Ramirez to load the bases with two outs, but a strikeout ended the scoring threat (4-2).

Bay County took exception to its lead being cut in half, as it loaded the bases with no outs. Hugo notched a base hit to center field, then Luke Savage doubled in a pair. With two outs, Bay County reloaded the bases, but were unable to add to the lead, as the fourth inning ended with Bay County leading 7-2.

Brownsville chiseled its way back in it in the top of the fifth, when Rene Sanchez hit a two-RBI single up the middle. Yesterday’s elimination game hero versus Washington County, Marco Martinez, was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Darren Ramirez followed with an RBI groundout to make it 7-5.

Bay County upped its lead to 8-5 on a throwing error by Brownsville's catcher, who was attempting to throw out Kolak at third.

The victory on the mound goes to Grant Horner, allowing two runs (both earned), six hits, two walks and three strikeouts over 3.2 innings pitched. Tommy Szczepanski picked up the save, allowing no runs, no hits, one walk and four strikeouts over two innings.

The loss sent Brownsville, Texas home with a record of 2-2, but most notably, Martinez's walk-off "hurdle heard 'round the world" finished as the number-one play on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top-10 plays. The win sent Bay County into the division finals to rematch Covina.



Game #15 recap: Seoul, Korea 11 Youngstown, Ohio 1 (F/5)

Three home runs and dominant pitching highlighted Asia-Pacific Zone Champion Seoul, Korea’s 11-1 victory over Host Area Champion Youngstown, Ohio Tuesday night in a divisional final Game #15.

Choi Woo-In was the spark offensively for Seoul, as he went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and the walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the sixth for the 10-run rule victory.

Kim Gyeong-Yui drove in Seoul’s first run with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. Kim Min-Hyuk and Choi Woo-In hit a two-run home run and solo home run, respectively, in the third inning, making it 4-0 after three innings. A solo home run by Jung Hui-Chan, Seoul’s third of the night, highlighted a six-run bottom of the fifth for the Asia-Pacific Zone Champions, who extended their lead to 10-1.

Youngstown had opportunities to score in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings, but Seoul’s starting pitcher Lee Yun-Min and reliever Kim Chun-Ki combined to leave only four Youngstown runners in scoring position. Youngstown's Ty Ventresco hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning, representing the Host Area Champions' only run scored.

Lee Yun-Min threw four innings, allowing one run (earned), three hits and struck out three, picking up the victory. Kim Chun-Ki and Park Jun-Young combined for two innings of relief, allowing one hit and striking out two.

Jeremy Kreuzwieser allowed five runs (four earned), seven hits, one walk and four strikeouts over two-plus innings of relief.

Seoul’s win punches its ticket to the 2017 DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series Championship Game Wednesday against Covina, California. It is the 10th year in a row that a team from PONY's Asia-Pacific Zone will be represented in the title game. The loss sends Youngstown home with an impressive 3-2 record, including two elimination 
game victories.


Game #16 recap: Covina, California 14 Bay County, Michigan 1 (F/5)

Chris Munoz’s fourth inning grand slam solidified West Zone Champion Covina, California’s spot in Wednesday evening’s DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series Championship Game against Seoul, Korea with a 14-1 win over North Zone Champion Bay County, Michigan.

Munoz’s grand slam, four walks, two errors and a hit batsman fueled Covina’s 10-run bottom of the fourth, as the California kids held a commanding 14-1 lead, which proved to be the final.

Covina’s pitching stifled Bay County offensively to the tune of just one run and four hits. James Jimenez allowed just one hit, two walks and struck out three over three innings of work to pick up the win. Anthony Rasmussen allowed the one run, three hits, three walks and struck out three in two innings of work.

Two Bay County errors scored Covina’s Hector Bautista to make it 1-0 in the bottom of the first. A two-RBI Jake Vargas double and a James Jimenez RBI single in the bottom of the third gave Covina 4-0 lead.

Bay County left the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, but a single, three walks and a wild pitch gave Bay County its first run of the game making it 4-1.

Bay County had opportunities to add more runs on the board to support starting pitcher Grant Horner, but six of nine runners left on base were left in scoring position.

Covina's victory secured the fourth-straight year and fifth time in the last six years that the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series Championship Game features the Asia-Pacific Zone Champion and the 
West Zone Champion.

Bay County finished its sixth-straight appearance in the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pony League World Series with a record of 2-2, with two wins against Brownsville and two loses to Covina.


Undefeated Asia-Pacific Zone Champion Seoul, Korea takes on West Zone Champion Covina, California in the Championship Game for the Roy Gillespie Memorial Trophy tonight at 7 p.m. ET/US. Click here to watch it live on If you'd like to follow the gamecast pitch-by-pitch thanks to Game Changer, click here. Follow PONY Baseball and Softball and PONY World Series' social media accounts for exclusive Championship Game content.

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