Venezuela outpitches Tawain in LLWS return

Updated: August 17, 2007, 10:47 PM ET news services

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- After a seven-year absence from the Little League World Series, Maricaibo, Venezuela got right back into the swing of things with a 2-1 defeat of Taichung, Taiwan on Friday.

That last squad in 2000 won the title.

This year's team is off to a good start after Miguel Romero doubled home Alberti Chavez with two outs in the bottom of the sixth for Venezuela (1-0).

Venezuela starter Ronny Mejias stuck out nine and allowed a hit but was forced to leave in the bottom of the fifth after throwing his 86th pitch due to a new pitch count rule.

Mejias struck out his last batter, but reliever Bryan Charry allowed an RBI single later that inning to Kai-Ying Chen to tie the game 1-1 for Taiwan (0-1).

"Mejias definitely have continued to pitch if it wasn't for the pitch count," Venezuela manager Jesus Paez said through interpreter Luis Sanchez.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.