Team Bahamas gave a much better performance on Wednesday, and it resulted in a victory, as they ended pool play with a 3-2 win/loss record at the Little League Caribbean and Latin American Championships in Willemstad, Curaçao.
The team from the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN), representing the country, blanked the Dominican Republic, 5-0, but will have to settle for a third place finish in Pool B. Only the top two teams in Pool B, Curacao’s B team – Pariba Little League and Cuba, have advanced to Friday’s semifinals.
However, in a late development Wednesday in Willemstad, the host nation filed a protest against the Cuban team citing an age violation in relation to ace pitcher Cristian
Yosvani. The 12-and-under (12U) tournament is the regional qualifier for the Little League World Series, set for August 15-25, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Team Bahamas Head Coach Javier “Sonic” Bowe said whilst it would be a blessing for them to move on to the semifinals, they are just taking things in stride and are satisfied with their play regardless. Alexander Eneas got the win for Team Bahamas at the Stadion Post 6 Park in Willemstad yesterday, hurling a four-hitter over six innings of work.
“Today was a much different story,” said Bowe. “We had good offensive production from a number of players. Unfortunately, with the loss to Cuba, we’re now in a sit-and-wait situation, but the team remains upbeat and we’re hoping for the best. We’ll see where we go from here.”
Eneas struck out three batters and walked just one in six scoreless innings. He was the one who had Curacao’s B team scoreless through five and a third innings for The Bahamas on Saturday. Curacao’s B team erupted for seven runs off relief pitching after Eneas was taken out of that game, and went on to win 7-3.
Offensively for Team Bahamas yesterday, Anthony Miller, Teagan Coleby and William Darling all had RBI hits. The team had seven hits in total in 22 at-bats. Miller had an RBI single in the first inning and Team Bahamas never looked back.
“The game went well for us. With Alex on the mound, we knew that second base would be a hot spot so we made a defensive replacement at that position and it paid off for us. Nathan Miller came in and made some plays for us at that position,” said Bowe. “Alex pitched six strong innings for us. As it stands now, we still need some intervention for us to advance. The boys are positive, and they should be commended regardless because the competition here is fierce.”
In the two games against Curacao’s B team and the Dominican Republic, Eneas pitched 11 and a third scoreless innings.
After the opening heart-breaking loss for Team Bahamas, they went on to defeat Bonaire and Antigua & Barbuda by a combined score of 26-0. In the team’s fourth game of the tournament, they were overpowered by one of the more dominant pitchers in the tournament, Yosvani. The Cuban pitcher hurled a perfect game, striking out 17 of the 18 batters he faced.
So far, Durwuan Stuart is the leading hitter for Team Bahamas, going 7-for-12 with two home-runs and nine RBIs.
The championship game is set for Saturday and just the winner from the week-long tournament will advance to the Little League World Series – arguably the biggest and most prestigious 12U tournament in the world. A total of 11 teams played in the tournament. In addition to the six teams in Pool B, there are five teams in Pool A. They are: Aruba, Curacao’s A team – Pabao Little League, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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