September 3, 2006 – The V.I. Minor Little League All-Stars rebounded from a disappointing loss to Curacao to defeat Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, 10-0, Sunday morning in the Latin American regional championships in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.
Aseah Thomas and Stephen LeBlanc tag-teamed the Puerto Ricans. Thomas, the V.I. starting pitcher, did it with his arm, allowing only two hits as he stifled the Puerto Rican offence. LaBlanc did it with the bat, driving in five runs on three hits — two of them doubles.
The Puerto Ricans' only serious offensive threat of the game came in the first, when they had runners on second and third with two away. The threat ended when Thomas got the final out on a grounder to second.
The V.I. erupted for five runs in the bottom of the first inning as they batted around. Shakeem Foy led off the V.I. offence with a walk. Kelvin Hansen Jr. followed with a single to left. Thomas then doubled in Foy, as Hansen advanced to third. LeBlanc followed with a double of his own, scoring Hansen and Thomas. With two down, Shaquan Webster walked. He was followed by Omar Emanuel, who lined a single to left that the left fielder misplayed, allowing LeBlanc and Webster to score.
The V.I. added another run in the second inning to pad its lead to 6-0.
Although the V.I. was held scoreless in the third inning, the bats came back to life in the fourth. Foy led off the inning with a single but was later forced out at second by a ground ball off of the bat of Hansen. Thomas then doubled to left field, which advanced Hansen to third. LeBlanc then singled to drive home Hansen and Thomas. After Matthews walked, Devon Williams hit a ground ball to the shortstop that he booted, loading the bases. Makadis Smith then stepped up with a game-ending two-RBI double, which scored the 10th run, triggering the 10-run Little League mercy rule.
Although the V.I. finished its Group B round-robin play in second place, the team missed the playoffs, narrowly failing to qualify for the wild card spot.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.