Netherlands Antilles tops Venezuela 3-0 at Little League World Series


Friday, August 23rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania (AP) _ Dennis Neuman threw a one-hit shutout as Willemstad, Curacao of Netherlands Antilles beat Valencia, Venezuela, 3-0 Thursday in the international semifinals of the Little League World Series.

Curacao (3-1) advances to Saturday's international championship against unbeaten Sendai, Japan. Japan beat Curacao 5-0 in pool play.

Neuman (2-0) threw nine strikeouts, including three in the top of the sixth to end the game.

His defense was solid behind him, with shortstop Hairo Polonius and first baseman Timothy Juliana turning a double play to end the side in the second, and right fielder Rodien Genaro making a running catch to end the side in the fourth.

Worcester, Massachusetts, meanwhile, will play Louisville, Kentucky, in Saturday's U.S. championship game after claiming a 5-2 victory Thursday over Harlem, New York in a U.S. semifinal.

Curacao scored two runs in the bottom of the first on bases-loaded walks.

Rudney Balentien hit a double deep to left field, then advanced and scored on a pair of infield errors to give Curacao a 3-0 lead in the third.

Eduardo Mendez (1-1) threw nine strikeouts in the loss for Venezuela (2-2).

Massachusetts 5, New York 2

Ryan Griffin's three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning gave Worcester, a 5-2 victory over Harlem.

Gordie Lockbaum walked to lead off the sixth inning and Frank Flynn, who hit Worcester's only home run of the tournament, was intentionally walked. After one out, Griffin battled through an eight-pitch at-bat and sent the ball sailing over the right field wall.

Harlem right fielder Fernando Frias threw his hat near the fence in obvious disappointment, and then came Worcester's celebration at home plate.

The Harlem team was cleared to play in the World Series just days before it started after providing documents showing that its players met residency requirements.

The game started about 20 minutes late because of rain and was delayed briefly in the second inning when Harlem's Ralph Rodriguez was stung by a bee in left field. He returned to finish the inning.