Seguro Social Little League, the team out of Mexico, is looking for a little bit of revenge.
The squad has just one loss on its record during this year’s Little League World Series and now they’ll get a chance to avenge it, taking on Japan in the International Championship on Saturday afternoon. “Baseball gives you revenge,” said Seguro Social manager Jorge Joel Armenta to US News, “We want to play Japan.”
Mexico’s bats have been rolling since arriving in Williamsport and now the squad will get a chance to keep the hits flying – hopefully over the outfield fence. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mexico Defeated Venezuela 11-0 on Thursday
They called it a trouncing and there isn’t really another word for it. Mexico trounced Venezuela on Thursday, braking out the bats in a major way to earn a berth in the International Championship game.
Daniela Zaragoza earned the win on the mound, before moving to right field to wrap up the game, giving up just three heads to lead his squad to a victory. He also recorded a two-run double that got Mexico’s offense rolling.
2. The Team Played Seven Games In Its Regional Round
It wasn’t an easy road to the International Championship for Seguro Social and that doesn’t even include the games in Williamsport.
Seguro Social, based out of Mexicali Baja California, played seven games in the Mexico Regional Round, winning six of them. Those games came in straight days over a single week, ending with a 13-6 victory over Conno Hill Little League in the championship.
Seguro Social’s bats, which have become the talk of Williamsport, got their start in the regional round. The team scored nine or more runs four times in the seven-game tilt.
3. This is the Fourth Time in 11 Year Seguro Social Has Played in the LLWS
Seguro Social has a long-standing reputation as one of the top little league squads in all of Mexico. In fact, the local squad has helped add to the growing popularity of baseball in Mexicali. “In Mexico, soccer is No. 1. But in Mexicali, baseball is bigger than soccer,” team manager Jorge Joel Armenta told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
According to Miguel Carreon, district administrator for Baja California, there are approximately 220 Little League teams in Mexico.
Of those teams, Seguro Social has found consistent success. In the lats 11 years, the organization has sent four teams to the Little League World Series in Williamsport.
4. Seguro Social Had Strong Ties to the LLWS Team From California
There were over 7,000 all-star teams playing in Little League tournaments across the world last month. The final 16 teams descended on Williamsport, Pennsylvania a week and a half ago. For the most part those teams were focused solely on themselves, on their goals and their on-field play.
For the most part.
Two of those 16 teams were actually fairly well acquainted with each other. Seguro Social and Sweetwater Valley, the team from Bonita, California, are just 120 miles apart and the ties that bind the two squads created an interesting story line in this year’s World Series. In fact, Sweetwater Valley’s Issac Artalejo and Seguro Social’s Raul Leon are cousins.
The Mexico squad also has ties to the United States. Manager Jorge Joel Armenta works in Calexico, California while his son and three other players on Seguro Social attend school in Calexico.
5. Mexico’s Only LLWS Losses Have Come Against Japan
If there’s one way to motivate a team, it’s by reminding them that another team stands in their path to victory. Or International Championships.
That’s exactly the mindset that Mexico will take into Saturday’s tilt against Japan. The teams from that region are 11-0 at the Little League World Series in the last three years against every team except Japan. In that same span, Mexico is 0-5 against Japan.
Japan also handed Seguro Social its only loss of this year’s Series. Japan defeated Mexico 3-1 on Sunday, August 23.