Mexico vs. New England: Little League World Series 2013 Consolation Game Preview
California and Japan may be headed to the Little League World Series Championship game, but the journey is not over for the teams they defeated in the semifinals.
Mexico and New England will do battle in the World Series Consolation game on Sunday. It may not be the final game either side wanted to participate in, but it is a great way for the kids to end the tournament nonetheless.
Both teams will surely be giving it their all in the first of two games that end the World Series for the year. Here's everything fans need to know about the matchup.
When: Saturday, Aug. 25 at 11:00 a.m. ET
Where: Howard J. Lamade Stadium, South Williamsport, Pa.
Note: All stats and info courtesy of the tournament's official website.
The Road for Mexico (Municipal De Tijuana)
Mexico was absolutely unstoppable in the early goings of the tournament, beating up on Australia and Latin America by the combined score of 25-0.
Unfortunately all positive momentum came to a halt despite the display of dominance as Mexico encountered the buzz saw known as Japan. The team now playing in the championship downed Mexico 5-2 in game No. 23 behind the bat of potential tournament MVP Kazuki Ishida.
Mexico managed to bounce back with a win over Latin America, but the team was only able to muster four runs to earn another crack at Japan.
The semifinal against Japan was more of the same with Mexico losing by one after only scoring two runs.
For Mexico to reawaken and win the consolation game, the bats are going to have to find a way to start putting runs across the plate once more.
The Road for New England (Westport)
New England did not have the early fireworks Mexico displayed in the beginning of the tournament, but it did have the elite pitching of Chad Knight, which it rode to a 3-2 victory over Southeast.
Westport then survived an encounter with Northwest—once again on the merits of its strong pitching.
Things then mirrored Mexico's journey to the consolation game for New England. The team was defeated by California, the U.S. representative in the championship. New England would sneak by Northwest to earn another shot, but like Mexico, the team did not have enough to pull out a victory in the semifinal round.
New England has to discover some consistency to pull out a victory in its final game. Jumping from run totals of three, to nine, to three all the way up to 14 simply does not get the job done in a tournament of this caliber.
Mexico Player to Watch: Ramon Mendoza
There are a few names to watch for Mexico, but the little powerhouse known as Ramon Mendoza may top the list.
Mendoza exploded against Latin America for six RBI on three hits. He also managed to tally the only two RBI against Japan in the semifinal round.
The only player who has been consistent no matter the level of competition, Mendoza, with his sound offensive skills, will be the player to watch against New England.
New England Player to Watch: Chad Knight
Chad Knight has been the only consistent pitcher for New England throughout the tournament. Entering the semi final round he had posted a 1.39 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 8.2 innings.
Obviously those numbers went out the window, but it's important to note that he was the one mainly responsible for the team making it that far in the first place.
Knight is no slouch offensively either, but there are other quality batters on the roster to carry the load in that regard.
Knight is the player to watch as New England takes on a new foe.
Given the propensity of either team to get ridiculously hot at the plate, this one could be a high-scoring affair, and really, that would be fun for fans and players alike.
At the end of the day New England has been a tad more consistent at the plate and has a pitcher who can shut it down when he's on his game.
It may not be pretty, but New England should be scrappy enough to come away with the win.
New England 10, Mexico 5
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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