N.J., Canada, Saudi Win Games
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ Toms River stars Todd Frazier and Casey Gaynor are engaged in a little one-upmanship in this week’s Little League World Series.
They watched in awe three years ago when their older brothers, Jeff Frazier and Colin Gaynor, hit home runs in the series. Now the younger pair get their chance, and they’re making the most of it.
Todd Frazier went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and Casey Gaynor threw a five-hitter Tuesday as Toms River beat Greenville, N.C., 5-3 to claim a spot in Thursday’s U.S. championship game.
``I can show him up now,″ Frazier said good-naturedly. ``Now I can tell him I hit two home runs and he only got one.″
The 12-year-old leadoff hitter and shortstop is 4-for-8, to be exact, with a grand slam and seven RBIs in Toms River’s three wins. He also threw a three-hitter Monday in a 4-2 victory over Cypress, Calif.
The 3-0 start itself is a change over 1995, when Toms River went 1-2 and didn’t advance.
``I am amazed, absolutely amazed,″ manager Mike Gaynor, Casey’s father, said. ``The boys are just playing good baseball.″
The North Carolinians are 1-1 in the U.S. pool and stay in contention for Thursday’s U.S. championship game.
Also Tuesday, Sean Sargent hit two home runs, including a three-run shot to cap a five-run seventh inning, as Langley, Canada, beat Kashima, Japan, 10-5, and Sammy Al-Rajhi’s bloop single brought home the game-winning run as Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, beat Guadalupe, Mexico, 8-7.
Guadalupe went 5-0 on the way to last year’s championship. This year’s club went 0-3.
Dhahran is 1-1 and must beat Langley (2-0) Wednesday to vie for a shot at Thursday’s international pool final. Kashima is 2-1.
Greenville’s Justin Hardee hit a two-run homer and Shelton Nelson hit an RBI single, but they were the only players to get to Gaynor. And Toms River catcher Brad Frank stopped another run from scoring, blocking home plate with his foot and tagging out Alex White in the second inning.
``Hopefully, we can wake our bats up,″ said Greenville manager Wayne Hardee, whose team has only nine hits and six runs in two games.
Greenville starter Robert Barnhill gave up eight hits and five runs, including two on wild pitches in the sixth.
``Our pitcher got a little rattled today,″ Hardee admitted.
Langley went into the sixth inning trailing 5-1 before scoring four runs in that inning and five more in the seventh, hitting four of its five home runs in the game. The Canadians have hit eight homers in the series.
Mike Erickson led off the sixth with a solo home run, his third of the series, and Jeff Duda followed two walks with a three-run shot to tie it 5-5. Langley starter Jordan Lennerton followed Sargent’s seventh-inning shot with a two-run homer.
Kashima starter Takeshi Kato gave up one run _ Sargent’s first homer _ and four hits over five innings before manager Atsushi Ohkawa pulled him before the final inning and the trouble started.
Tetsuya Furukawa went 2-for-4 with a grand slam, a double and five RBIs and is 6-for-11 with two homers and seven RBIs in three games.
Dhahran broke a 4-4 tie in a four-run fifth inning keyed by Tony Davidson’s two-run homer. Davidson added a single and a triple and had four RBIs.
The winners of the U.S. and international pool championships advance to Saturday’s final.