Region wins third consecutive world championship
By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – For the third year in a row a team representing Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) not only won but dominated the 35th annual Junior League World Series at Heritage Park.
The Asian representatives in the contest featuring the world’s best 13- and 14-year-old teams completed its three-year sweep Aug. 23 with a 12-0 shutout over the tournament’s U.S. champs from Winchester, Va.
That victory closed out a week of six tournament wins and no losses for this year’s champs – itself a “three-peat” as Taiwanese teams have combined for a record of 18-0 in the last three years. The six victories in Taylor in the international bracket included shutout wins over Canada and Czech Republic.
JLWS Communications Director Dave Gorgon said the squad from Chung-Shan Middle School is the same group that won last year’s tournament and includes five returning players. The 2015 champions had likewise dominated during qualifying regional play in Asia, where they outscored opponents by an astounding 143-4 over five games.
The all-stars from Virginia emerged from a competitive U.S. bracket during the week’s contests. They entered the U.S. Championship on Aug. 22 as the second seed below Iowa, which had recorded a 4-0 record during the week’s games. Virginia topped Iowa 7-4 to take the U.S. title before losing to Taiwan in the finals.
Virginia was the tie-breaker selection for the championship among three teams that had gone 2-2 during the week, along with Hawaii and New Jersey. The boys from Virginia recorded a 10-0 blowout win over Hawaii and a 2-1 pitcher’s duel win over Texas but had fallen short in losses to Iowa (9-4) and New Jersey (6-1).
The JLWS has been played in Taylor since 1981 and brings the top teams from five U.S. regions and five international tournaments, and has featured players from 30 states, four Canadian provinces and 23 countries.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])