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Puerto Rico overpowers Mon-Yough

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The Mon-Yough All-Stars bowed out of the PONY League World Series in Washington. Team members include, in the front row from the left, Jason Cerniglia, Brandon Cain, Ryan Weaver, Tyler Seliga, Eric Harkins and Charlie Variano. Standing are coach Scott Winkler, Jake Callaway, Ben Cole, Cory Saus, coach Phil Zilka, Anthony Winkler, Timmy Labuda, Jordan Zilka and manager Scott Callaway.

After he watched his Mon-Yough All-Stars get eliminated from the Pony League World Series by Bayamon, Puerto Rico, 11-7, at Washington’s Lew Hays Field, Scott Callaway didn’t have the look of a loser.

The Mon-Yough manager was wearing a smile as he faced reality.

“We were out of pitching from the first two games. But even if we weren’t, I don’t think we could have beaten this team,” Callaway said of the Puerto Rican squad. “If I hand-picked a team to beat — and I think I can — I would say that is the best team in this tournament. That team is legit. They are great and we took our shots.

“I don’t think we have anything to be ashamed of at all.”

Bayamon, the Caribbean champion that came into the World Series having won 16 international titles, swatted 15 hits against five Mon-Yough pitchers and never looked back after taking a 4-0 first inning lead.

The winners clubbed four home runs, including a two-run shot by Sebastian Toro that capped the first inning and back-to-back bombs by Jose Miranda and Mario Feliciano in the fifth inning that pretty much sealed the win.

Feliciano, who hit two homers in the game, has four in the World Series.

“I said before we played them they were monsters,” Callaway said. “Those are big, talented kids and they do everything well.”

Trailing 4-0 after Bayamon sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning, Mon-Yough (1-2) scored three runs on just one hit in the second inning as winning pitcher Javier Sanchez walked three batters, balked one of them home, then gave up a two-out, two-run double down the left field line to Tyler Seliga.

However, the winners quickly responded with three runs in their half of the second. The big blow was a two-run blast by Feliciano.

Bayamon led 11-3 when Mon-Yough mounted rallies in the sixth and seventh innings.

Charlie Variano smacked a two-run double to left-center in the sixth, and Jake Callaway hit his second homer of the series, a two-run blast over the fence in center field, in the seventh.

“I was happy that we didn’t quit at the end,” Scott Callaway said. “We never gave up. I would never have guessed that this team would hold us to five hits. But still, the better team won. We tried. We tried our hardest.”

As his players named were announced and received their awards for reaching the World Series, Scott Callaway smiled.

“This is an experience that none of them will ever forget and nobody can ever take away from them,” he said. “This was a thrill. It’s been great to be a part of.”

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or [email protected].

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