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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 23, 2024


July 31, 2001 – Monday's play in the second annual Junior Little League Latin American Regional Championship in Freeport, Grand Bahama, was delayed by rain. But that didn't stop the Virgin Islands team from winning, 8-7, a nerve-wrecking game against the host team of the Bahamas.
The Bahamas came out roaring in the first inning, scoring five runs off the Virgin Islands' starting pitcher, Kemo Simeon, with timely hitting and
thanks to some costly Virgin Islands errors.
The Virgin Islands answered with three runs off Bahamas starting pitcher Ramon Grant in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead down to two. The Bahamas coach wasted no time in pulling Grant and bringing in Cordero Bauld to stop the Virgin Islands comeback.
The Bahamas added another run in the top of the second inning to increase its lead to 6-3. This prompted the Virgin Islands manager, Melvin Gerald, to make a pitching change, calling on Jamal Wesselhoft to stop the bleeding in relieving Simeon.
Both Wesselhoft and Bauld held their opponents scoreless until the seventh inning — Bauld not allowing the Virgin Islands so much as a hit during those innings.
In the top of the seventh inning, Bahamas third baseman Brent Sands hit a ground ruled double and later scored another run.
The Virgin Islands came back with a vengeance in the bottom of the inning. The first two batters, Wesselhoft and Tehron Christian, got on base on with hits. Later in the inning, the Virgin Islands scored one run and had one out and two runners on base. Shareem Samuel then connected on a 1-1 pitch that he drove just fair over the left field fence for a three-run home run to tie the game at 7-7.
The Bahamas then relieved Bauld with Jamie Collie, who got another out. But then the Virgin Islands' Anson Larcheveaux Jr. singled to right. The Virgin Islands eventually loaded the bases and sent Wesselhoft to the plate. Wesselhoft smashed a shot that the Bahamas' Sands smothered but was unable to make play as Larcheveaux scored the winning run.
Wesselhoft won the game for the Virgin Islands as Collie absorbed the lost. Samuel led the Virgin Islands offense with two hits in three at bats. Latrell Gittens led the Bahamas with three hits in four at bats.
The Bahamas out-hit the Virgin Islands six to five. However, the hosts also committed eight costly errors, while the Virgin Islands committed four.
The Virgin Islands players will rest for a couple of days; their next game is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, against Curacao.
The standings for the tournament are: Group A: Mexico 1-0, Puerto Rico 1-1, Venezuela 1-1 and Aruba 0-1. Group B: Panama 2-0, Virgin Islands 1-1, Bahamas 0-1, and Curacao 0-1.

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