By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – After a week’s worth of highlight-reel memories, the 35th annual Junior League World Series will end with the crowning of this year’s top 13- and 14-year-old baseball team from around the globe.
Heading into the weekend’s final games, the Winchester, Va., All-Stars (USA Southeast) were set to face off against Johnston, Iowa (USA Central), for the U.S. championship. The winner was scheduled to go against the International champion at 1 p.m. Aug. 23, the winner of a contest between Caguas, P.R., and Chinese Taipei – a team from the same junior high school which won the 2014 JLWS. (Final results were unavailable at press time.)
Ten teams – five each from U.S. and global regions – competed in the bracket tournament that began Monday, with four games played daily through Thursday at Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Road.
JLWS Director Greg Bzura said highlights from the week included several strong pitching performances in several shutout games, multiple home runs, and just one day of rain-delayed games. Both defending champs Chinese Taipei and Johnston, Iowa, dominated their brackets and went undefeated leading up to Saturday’s two final games.
The JLWS has been played in Taylor since 1981 with teams representing four U.S. regions. Canada soon joined the games, and the tournament has over the years featured players from 30 states, four Canadian provinces and 23 countries.
The Aug. 23 championship game will be broadcast on ESPN’s website. Scores from the final contests are posted on www.facebook.com/JuniorLeagueWorldSeries.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])