Ortiz's double in sixth leads Mexico past Curacao
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Jose Ortiz came up big in a pressure situation.
Ortiz delivered a two-run, ground-rule double with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, lifting Mexico to a 3-2 victory over Curacao in a Pool D contest at the Little League World Series.
With Willemstad, Curacao (0-1) clinging to a 2-1 lead, Julio Vargas led off the sixth with a single. Mirangelo Muller relieved Sherman Lacus and walked Josue Barron before uncorking a wild pitch, putting runners on second and third with none out.
"[Lacus] told me he was tired, so I took him out of the game," Willemstad manager Michelangelo Celestina said through an interpreter.
Muller struck out Roberto Guajardo, but Ortiz followed with a shot that bounced over the center field wall, plating two to give Matamoros (1-0), which is in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, the victory.
"It feels very good," Ortiz said through an interpreter. "It felt really good when I hit the ball. If felt great winning the game because everyone's happy."
"This is a great disciplined team," Matamoros manager Candelario Perez said through an interpreter. "Even if we're losing on the scoreboard, we're going to stay strong and have a very positive attitude."
The two-base hit made a winner of Omar Zamora, who allowed two runs -- one earned -- and three hits in six innings, walking two and striking out 12.
"He's very good," Celestina said. "He had a good curveball and a good fastball."
Muller suffered the loss in relief of Lacus, who yielded two runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts in five-plus innings.
Willemstad took the lead in the third on a two-run double by Rayshelon Carolina, who had two of his team's three hits. But Jorge Villafranca belted a solo homer with two outs in the fifth to halve the deficit for Matamoros.
"I feel really happy," Villafranca said through an interpreter. "I helped get the team sparked up. We had lost some of our excitement and we needed a spark. I was grateful I was able to help."