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St. Thomas Boys Take V.I. Little League Title

June 29, 2008 — St. Thomas made it a clean sweep over the weekend, with its 9-10 and 11-12 division teams both taking home the territorial titles in this year's Inter-Island Little League Championships at Emile Griffith Ballpark.
The 9-10 all star team from St. Thomas' Elrod Hendricks West Chartered Little League jumped out in game one Friday, winning it 10-3. Winning pitcher was Taj Thompson, while Jahkeibo Joseph took the loss for Elmo Plaskett Little League East All Stars.
The St. Croix team was a little nervous for the first game, team manager Rael Sackey said before Elmo Plaskett took the field for game two.
"In the first game we started out pretty well, but we got in some trouble with runners on base. We managed to get ourselves out of trouble on a couple of occasions and kept the game scoreless," he said.
"In the fourth inning we had a 5-2 lead, but St. Thomas came back with four runs of their own. The game stayed that way until they came back again with five late runs. So, we pretty much need to shore up our defense — we had some errors out there — and get some strong pitching in there as well. Although we only managed to score two runs, their pitching wasn't as overwhelming as it was last year, so hopefully all the jitters are out of the way, and hopefully we'll get a hit."
In game two, St. Croix looked like they took what Sackey said to heart, taking an early 1-0 lead after the end of their half of the first inning, but St. Thomas continued to swing its hot bats, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first. St. Croix All Stars scored two runs in the second, to cut the lead to four, but St. Thomas tacked on runs in every inning except for the second and went on to win by a final score of 12-3.
"Our pitching dominated the whole game," said St. Thomas coach Sidney Lewis after the game. "It just shut down the whole thing."
The St. Thomas team will now move on to Mexico for the Latin-American Regional Championships in the 9-10 division.
After losing the first game of the series 2-0, the St. Thomas 11-12 All Stars won their next game 4-0 and, after shaking off nerves and rallying in the final game, took the territorial title 2-1.
"With this team, I see us going a long way, because really and truly, they didn't score on us," said St. Thomas All Stars team manager Bruce Smith. "In the three games we had, they had a total of three runs in three nights — and that's to show that we have a good defense. Our pitching and defense are outstanding. But we definitely give kudos to the St. Croix team — those young men were impressive."
St. Thomas will now advance to the Latin American Regional Championships in Bonaire for the 11-12 division, and hope to earn a spot in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.
"We're definitely trying to get there," Smith said. "And I think that if we get our hitting intact, we could reach there."

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