South Carolina District 7 Holds Off Late Charge by Defending Champions to Win 2011 Big League Baseball World Series
By Communications Division
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.
August 4, 2011
Despite building a 6-0 lead through four innings, South Carolina District 7 from Greenville, S.C., had to withstand a furious rally by Latin America Region Champion San Juan, Puerto Rico District 1, to post a 9-7 win in the 43rd Big League Baseball World Series title game.
Through the first five innings Wednesday night in Easley, S.C., it seemed as if the South Carolina District 7 team was going to cruise to the championship, but Puerto Rico District 1, the defending Big League Baseball World Series Champions and unbeaten in this year’s World Series Tournament, would not give up the crown easily.
Winning pitcher Kyle Martin, who helped himself by going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in, carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning. He would work six innings, allowing five hits, three runs (two earned) and striking out six for the mound victory. J.R. Black and Corey Thompson pitched the seventh inning, with Thompson picking up the final out for the save.
Puerto Rico District 1 had displayed solid defense throughout the World Series, but committed three costly errors in the championship game that helped the United States Champion build its early lead against starter Jorge Lopez.
Lopez, who was selected in the second round (70th overall) of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Player Entry Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, faced a South Carolina District 7 team that featured several players who have committed to playing their collegiate baseball for the two-time defending College World Series Champion University of South Carolina.
District 7 scored the first three runs of the game in the top of the second inning, all unearned. In the top of the third, Weston Jackson and Thompson (2 RBI, 2 runs scored) scored two earned runs, and Jay Lizanich added the sixth run in the top of the fourth for a 6-0 lead.
After the lead grew to 9-0 through five-and-a-half innings, Puerto Rico District 1 finally broke through offensively, scoring its first three runs of the game. Michael Perez, a fifth-round selection of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Player Entry Draft, highlighted the rally with a home run to make the score, 9-3, after six innings.
In the seventh and final inning of regulation, South Carolina District 7 had to work to earn the championship banner as Puerto Rico District 1 tallied four unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh. The tying runs were on base when District 7’s Glenn Batson fielded a fly ball for the final out.
The World Championship is the second for South Carolina District 7, which also won the title in 2008. It is the sixth Big League Baseball World Series win for the State of South Carolina, all coming since 2003.
The First Big League Baseball World Series was played in 1968. Teams representing the United States have won the championship 20 times.