BANGOR — Guatemala claimed its Senior League World Series Championship, beating Lemon Grove, California 6-3 Saturday at Mansfield Stadium.

“This is the biggest thing Guatemala has ever achieved at any sport,” head coach Angel Hoyas said. “A lot of hard work. These kids deserved it.”

After both teams threatened in the first, California took the lead in the bottom of the second when Dominick Sawyer ripped a 2-1 pitch into center field to make it 1-0.

It was California’s last lead of the day.

Guatemala came back in the third. A walk and two hits loaded the bases for Juan Diego Montes, who singled home the tying run. Two batters later, Juan Alvarado hit a two-run single just inside the rightfield foul line to give Guatemala a 3-1 lead.

Guatemala scored three insurance runs in the sixth inning thanks to four walks by Lemon Grove pitchers, including two with the bases loaded.

“You just can’t walk guys with the bases loaded,” California coach Andre Simpson said. “We gave them an inch and they took a mile. We just didn’t play our game.”

California pitchers combined to walk nine and give up seven hits.

Alejandro Amezquita settled in nicely after getting the lead, retiring nine of the next 10 batters. After giving up a leadoff hit in the sixth on his 62nd pitch, Amezquita was relieved.

Fernando Vals came on in relief and struggled, walking a batter, then giving up a two-run double to Frankie Nunez to make it 6-3. Vals got out of the inning, stranding a runner at third.

California tried to get something going in the seventh. Esteban Lieras singled with two outs. Guatemala brought in its closer, Hans Werner. He quickly induced a ground ball for the final out.

Six other Latin America regional winners have left Bangor with the Senior League (15-16 year old division of Little League) but this was the first for Guatemala. And it likely means for good times back home, said second baseman Julio Alvarado.

“I think there will be a lot of parties because of us.”

 

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