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Russia Claims First-Ever LLWS Win

August 18, 2003

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ First, Anton Chekalin ruined Peter Perez’s perfect game. Then, he helped make history.

Chekalin scored the go-ahead run in Russia’s first-ever Little League World Series win as Khovrino Little League of Moscow beat Central Little League of Agana, Guam, 2-0 in pool play Sunday night.

With two out in the sixth, Chekalin hit a single to left, ruining what would have been the first perfect game in the Little League World Series since 1976. After advancing on Alexey Kozin’s single, Chekalin scored the game’s first run on Kirill Starodubov’s RBI single to center. Kozin later scored on an error.

Khovrino Little League (1-1) is in its third consecutive Little League World Series, but had yet to win a game. Evgeny Vorotyntsev (1-0) earned the win for Russia, striking out 12. Perez (0-1), who had nine strikeouts, got the loss and was pulled after giving up three consecutive hits in the sixth.

Boynton Beach, Fla., improved to 2-0 with a 7-2 victory over Tallmadge, Ohio, and advanced to the U.S. semifinals along with Saugus, Mass., a 2-1 winner over Richland, Wash. Boynton Beach and Saugus play Monday night for first place in Pool A.

Tallmadge _ the only U.S. team to reach the World Series without a loss _ and Richland were eliminated with their second losses.

Also Sunday, Chandler, Ariz., beat Richmond, Texas, 10-4, and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, beat Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, 3-2. The late game was Wilmington, Del., vs. Eldridge, Iowa.

Guam (0-2) had four hits and had runners advance to second base three times.

In the second and fourth innings, Vorotyntsev responded by striking out the next three batters. With one out in the sixth, Merced Flores, the only girl in this year’s series, walked. But after she advanced to second on a passed ball, Christopher Carbullido struck out for the second out and Flores was tagged out trying to advance to third when Russia’s catcher bobbled the ball.

Kiyoshi Tusmura, of Chofu, Japan, threw the last perfect game in the series 27 years ago. In 2001, Danny Almonte of the Rolando Paulino Little League in the Bronx, N.Y., threw a perfect game against Apopka, Fla., but that game was wiped from the record books after officials learned Almonte was 14 _ two years too old to play Little League.

Florida 7, Ohio 2

Richie DeJesus hit a home run in the second inning and added an RBI single in the third. R.J. Neal followed DeJesus’ homer with a single to left, then scored on a fielder’s choice to give Boynton Beach a 2-0 lead in the second.

DeJesus’ RBI single in the third scored Devon Travis, and Jordan Irene raced home on a passed ball to give Boynton Beach a 4-0 lead in the third.

``Richie, I’m happy for him because he’s been struggling lately,″ Boynton Beach coach Joe Irene said. ``He’s a great hitter, great glove and a fine guy.″

Tallmadge made it 4-1 in the bottom of the third when Joe Cochran hit a single to left and scored on an infield error.

But Boynton Beach increased its lead to 6-1 in the fourth when Benny Townend and Matt Overton scored on an infield error. The lead grew to 7-1 in the fifth when Neal scored on a fielder’s choice.

Arizona 10, Texas 4

Matt Potter had two hits and scored twice in a seven-run third inning for Chandler, which remained undefeated in the series.

Massachusetts 2, Washington 1

David Ferriera scored on Sebastiano Petruzzelli’s groundout RBI to give Massachusetts a 2-0 lead in the sixth, and Matthew Muldoon held Richland to just one run to preserve the win.

Saudi Arabia 3, Canada 2

Shaan Bukhari hit a double and scored the first of two Saudi Arabia runs in the fifth inning. Thomas Timony struck out two in the sixth for the save after Jonathan Boutilier’s two-run homer brought Canada within one.

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