WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Clay Bellinger played in the World Series with the New York Yankees, but the utility man was never really known for his bat.
His son, though, can sure pound the ball.
Twelve-year-old Cody Bellinger went 4-for-5, including an impressive opposite-field two-run homer to left, and Chandler, Ariz., hit five home runs in a 16-6 win Saturday over Salisbury, Md., at the Little League World Series.
Clay Bellinger even got to stand on the field with his sweet-swinging son — he’s the first-base coach for Chandler.
‘‘He went to the World Series, so I thought it would be really cool if I could go to the Little League World Series,’’ said Cody, his voice raspy from all the yelling he’s been doing on the field.
In other games Saturday, Lubbock, Texas, shut out Coon Rapids, Minn., 6-0; Hamilton, Ohio, beat Warner Robins, Ga., 10-2; Mexico defeated the Netherlands 11-1; and Canada beat Saudi Arabia 13-5.
But no team put on a hitting display like Chandler (1-0), which had 17 hits, including 10 for extra bases.
The first three batters in Chandler’s lineup resemble a Little League Murderer’s Row. Seth Fretheim led off the game with a homer and followed with another shot in the sixth. No. 3 hitter Luke Parrish was 4-for-5, including a homer and a double.
Cody Bellinger was sandwiched in between them. Listed at 5-foot-1 and 87 pounds, the second baseman hardly looks imposing at the plate. Appearances can be deceiving.
Cody said his father took him to the batting cage regularly before tournament season.
Clay Bellinger hit .193 over four seasons in his major league career. He played in two World Series for New York, winning in 2000 against the New York Mets and losing the following season to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
His hitting advice and major league experience are paying off with Chandler.
‘‘One of the great things about him, despite being a major league player and having a World Series ring, he ultimately knows that we’re here for the kids, and it’s really about them,’’ Arizona coach Chris McCann said.
Bellinger has been able to help soothe the team’s nerves, telling them to block out the bright lights in South Williamsport.
‘‘I was more nervous in regionals,’’ his son said with a sheepish grin. ‘‘I don’t know why though.’’
Salisbury kept rallying Saturday after falling behind early. Craig East hit a three-run shot in the second and Ryan Aebly added a solo shot over the hedges in left field to cut the lead to 9-4, pumping his fist as he rounded first and bumping fists with his third-base coach before being greeted by several teammates at the plate.
They scored again in the fifth before loading the bases with two outs, but Seth Windmuller popped out to first to end the threat.
‘‘This team, they can come back,’’ manager Chris Yingling said. ‘‘They got a lot of heart, a lot of determination. They know they got some good bats.’’
Mexicali, Mexico 11, Apeldoorn, Netherlands 1, 4 innings
Isaac Camano drove in four runs, and Mexico (1-0) used a six-run fourth inning to beat the Netherlands (0-1). The game ended after four innings — two innings early — because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Apeldoorn catcher Roy Sterling left the game in the first after hyperventilating, a result of his griping about the strike zone. Apeldoorn walked five batters in Mexico’s five-run first inning.
‘‘He got sick and couldn’t breathe. He was complaining about the balls,’’ Netherlands manager Casper Coffie said. ‘‘I tried to tell him that he couldn’t change umpires’ call and that it didn’t matter, but it didn’t help.’’
Coffie said Sterling had to see a Little League doctor, but was going to be fine.
White Rock, British Columbia 13, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia 5 Jackson Temple hit a three-run homer, and British Columbia (1-0) broke a tie with an eight-run fifth inning to defeat Saudi Arabia (0-1).
Lubbock, Texas 6, Coon Rapids, Minn. 0
The new pitch count rule cost Lubbock pitcher Garrett Williams a chance at tying a Little League World Series strikeout record.
Williams recorded the first 17 outs by strikeout, but had to leave in the sixth inning because he threw 88 pitches. Only two other pitchers have recorded all 18 outs by strikeout.
The new rule this year forces a pitcher from the mound after 85 pitches, though they may finish throwing to the batter on which they reached the 85th pitch.
Asked if he knew how many strikeouts he had, Williams answered, ‘‘No sir. I don’t worry about stuff like that ... I just concentrate on the mitt and try to get the batter out.’’
Both teams made their World Series debut.|
Hamilton, Ohio 10, Warner Robins, Ga., 2
Brandon Green had a two-run home run, then scored again in the sixth after doubling and coming home on a throwing error to lead Ohio (1-1). Starter Tyler Richards settled down after allowing two first-inning runs, striking out Clint Wynn to end the game. Micah Wells homered for Georgia (1-1).