Following a heart-breaking loss in their first game of the tournament, Team Bahamas, represented by the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN), responded aggressively, winning their next two games of the Little League Caribbean and Latin American Championships that is currently in progress in Willemstad, Curaçao, quite easily.
Team Bahamas rolled over Bonaire on Sunday, 15-0, at Stadion Post 6 Park in Willemstad, and then blanked Antigua and Barbuda on Monday, 11-0. However, it doesn’t get any easier for them. They will face Cuba today, and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
Both games are imperative. Team Bahamas needs to come out on top in both to ensure a spot in the tournament semifinals on Friday. The championship game is set for Saturday, and just the winner from the week-long tournament will advance to the Little League World Series, set for August 15-25, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania – arguably the biggest and most prestigious 12-and-under (12U) tournament in the world.
“The team is very upbeat,” said Team Head Coach Javier “Sonic” Bowe yesterday. “We still have two more games to play in our pool and we feel good about our chances. If we could win those two, that would take us into the playoff round and then it’s just a matter of will power after that. We feel that we have put the team in a very good position to be successful, and so it’s just a matter of them executing on the field of play. We’re looking to go out there, perform well and bring it home.”
Cuba and the Dominican Republic are two of the toughest teams in this region, but Bowe remains confident of their chances. The Dominican Republic blasted Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday, 22-1, while Cuba fell to Curacao’s B team, Pariba Little League, 1-0.
In Team Bahamas’ game against Curacao’s B team, the Bahamian boys led 3-0 with one out in the top of the sixth inning. They were just two outs away from victory, but Curacao exploded for seven runs off Team Bahamas’ relief pitching, and went on to win, 7-3. Team Bahamas’ starter Alexander Eneas was pulled with out one and his squad up 3-0 in the top of the sixth.
“What happened is that the decision to pull him was based on Little League pitch count rules. He was at 61 pitches, and had he gone past 65 pitches we would not have been able to use him until after Thursday. We needed him to be available for the game against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday,” said Bowe.
It appears that the decision backfired for Bowe, but he remains confident in their chances against Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
“Based on what we saw from Cuba, we’re not concerned. We saw the Dominican Republic compete as well, and I believe that we have enough ammunition and fire power to compete with both of those teams,” said Bowe.
Power hitter Durwuan Stuart is swinging the hot bat for Team Bahamas at the Little League World Series Caribbean Zone qualifier so far. He is 7-for-9 with two home-runs and nine RBIs in three games, leading Team Bahamas to a 2-1 win/loss in Pool B. In the game against Antigua and Barbuda on Monday, he was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Eneas was a perfect 2-for-2 with a RBI and two runs scored, and Bohan Adderley was 1-for-2 and scored three runs.
Nathan Miller picked up the win from the mound for Team Bahamas. He and Arthur Rolle combined on a one-hitter. Miller gave up just that one hit in three innings, and Rolle retired the side in order in the fourth and struck out two of the three batters he faced. Miller had seven strike outs in total.
Team Bahamas is currently in second place behind Curacao’s B team in Pool B. Over in Pool A are Aruba, Curacao’s A team – Pabao Little League, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The top two teams from each pool will advance to the crossover playoffs on Friday and the winners from those semifinal games will play in the championship game on Saturday.
The 12U team from JBLN prevailed during the Bahamas Baseball Association’s (BBA) National Championships in Rock Sound, Eleuthera, to earn the right to represent The Bahamas at the Little League World Series regional qualifier. The Freedom Farm Baseball League (FFBL) chose not to defend their national title in the 12U Division, instead focusing on sending a 12U team to the Cal Ripken Major70 World Series from August 2-10 at Ballparks of America in Branson, Missouri.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting