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California beats Louisiana, stays undefeated

8/23/2005

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Kalen Pimentel sure is having a
grand time in the Little League World Series.
Pimentel hit his second grand slam in two games to lead
undefeated Rancho Buena Vista of Vista, Calif., to a 9-3 win over
Lafayette, La., on Tuesday night.
Pimentel's fourth-inning slam broke the game open for Rancho
Buena Vista (3-0) and followed one he hit Sunday that snapped a
tie. Pimentel also tied a Little League World Series record for a
six-inning game with 18 strikeouts on Saturday.
On the mound or at the plate, Pimentel is making Rancho Buena
Vista a championship favorite. Pimentel joked the ball was looking
pretty big to him in this series.
"It's not as big as a pumpkin, but that's pretty close," he
said.
"We've prepared all we can do," Rancho Buena Vista manager
Marty Miller said. "We've won 23 straight games now. We don't want
to teach the kids how to lose."
Austin White earned the win for California, allowing one run and
five hits over three innings.
Reed Reznicek added a two-run homer for Rancho Buena Vista and
Royce Copeland pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam when the
game was still tight.
Trailing 5-1 entering the fourth, Lafayette (2-1) tacked on
another run thanks to a throwing error and loaded the bases looking
ready to get back into the game.
But Copeland struck out Brenn Conrad on a wild pitch and Alex
Miller was thrown out at the plate for a double play. Then Copeland
got Jace Conrad to strike out to end the rally as chants of "RBV!
RBV!" erupted from the crowd.
Copeland struck out four in three innings of relief.
Pimentel made Lafayette regret the missed opportunity a little
more with his grand slam off reliever Ryan Bergeron in the bottom
half of the inning, giving him nine RBI in three games.
"I just tried putting a good swing on it," Pimentel said.
Rancho Buena Vista already had a United States semifinal bid
secured and seemed on its way to an early blowout, taking a 3-0
lead off losing starter Connor Toups in the first inning.
Lafayette's Jace Conrad crushed a solo homer about 300 feet -- or
nearly 100 yards past the 205-foot center-field fence sign -- in the
third to make it 3-1.
Reznicek then added a two-run shot in the third for a 5-1 Rancho
Buena Vista lead.