WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) Jorge Mateo felt just like a kid again when he found its way to a town overrun by Little Leaguers wanting nothing more to accomplish at a major-league game than chug Gatorades, hurry to attain leading of the line at the ice cream stand and yell for each run whichever team scored.
The speedy shortstop keeping Baltimore in the postseason hunt made the tiny stadium in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, appear to be Camden Yards for a night. THE TINY Leaguers had their fill of fun. The Orioles did, too, from cardboard races to the fireworks following the final out.
Mateo lined a bases-loaded double to left field in the eighth inning, driving in three runs and sparking the Baltimore Orioles to a 5-3 make an impression on the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night before a huge selection of cheering Little League World Series players from all over the world.
Its a thing that reminded me of my very own childhood, Mateo said via an interpreter.
Mateo kept the Orioles 2 1/2 games behind in the race for the 3rd and final AL wild-card spot, and Baltimore won the fifth MLB Little League Classic before former President George W. Bush and a sellout crowd of 2,467 fans at historic Bowman Field. Bush shook hands with Orioles and Red Sox players and went in to the stands to meet up Little Leaguers and their own families.
The youngsters went wild when Mateo ripped a go off John Schreiber for the three-RBI double and a 5-2 lead. Matt Barnes (0-4) took losing.
Hes been so excellent lately and its own fun to view him play, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Red Sox pinch-hitter Franchy Cordero, called up for the overall game from Triple-A Worcester, hit a tying solo homer off reliver Dillon Tate in the eighth that managed to get 2-all.
If they came off the field in to the dugout, I was just a little concerned about some deflation, but immediately guys are supporting one another, Hyde said. Our guys were really involved with it in the dugout.
Cionel Prez (7-1) earned the win in relief. Flix Bautista quit a solo homer to Xander Bogaerts in the ninth, but nonetheless found his eighth save.
On the list of fans were the daddy, brother and teammates of injured Utah Little Leaguer Easton Oliverson. The 12-year-old seriously injured his head when he fell out of his top bunk in the dorms. Jace Oliverson, the boys father, said Easton was likely to fly back Tuesday to Utah and can stay in a hospital there.
Im just grateful that hes still alive because I was virtually told he previously a zero percent possiblity to live, Oliverson told The Associated Press. We feel very fortunate.
All of those other day featured the most common revelry now of a game where millionaire big leaguers reach become kids for each day. Hyde and Red Sox manager Alex Cora took cardboard rides down the outfield hill beyond your Little League World Series stadium. Coras father founded the tiny League chapter in the managers hometown of Caguas in 1969.
This is baseball at its purest, Cora said.
The front-row seats behind the dugouts belonged to 12-year-olds dressed up in full uniform and hanging on every pitch — well, at the very least if they didnt chase the team mascots for photos or storm the concourse between each inning hoping of having a significant leaguer toss them a ball.
Its actually just seeing the pure emotions from everybody, all of the smiles on kids faces, Orioles outfielder Ryan McKenna said. There have been a lot of kids that wanted autographs. I told them, Whats up?
Very little after the game started.
Anthony Santander and Ramon Urias had RBI singles in the initial off Bostons Nick Pivetta. Pivetta, who took losing for the Mets in the 2018 Little League Classic, struck out nine over 5 2/3 innings.
Enrique Hernandez managed to get 2-1 in the next having an RBI single off Dean Kremer.
The youngsters have already been great all day long, Kremer said. It cut back memories to be a youngster. Sometimes in this type of work, it becomes work and you also forget that its still a casino game. Today brought that back for a number of us.
Teams from Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and all over the world sat just a relay dispose of from Orioles and Red Sox in the sort of seats usually reserved at MLB stadiums for deep-pocketed fans.
Graham Vinson, a 12-year-old pitcher/catcher/shortstop, plays for the tiny League team out of Hagerstown, Indiana, and, yes, hes a fresh York Yankees fan. Vinson snagged a front-row seat and said hes a large baseball fan who enjoys watching games on TV. However when he wants the most recent baseball highlights, well, he checks out TikTok, especially the Savannah Bananas. But he said there arent plenty of friends his age who watch MLB though teammate Kaden Hall loves the Cincinnati Reds and found you can find more electronic national pastimes for kids his age.
Its all of the forms of phones and stuff, Vinson said. Its all Xbox and PlayStation and all that.
Thats one reason MLB launched a casino game such as this one — to steady the decline of baseball viewership among todays kids.
At Williamsport, they watched.
The 2023 game has already been set: the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies will play Sunday, Aug. 20, in the sixth edition of the overall game. The Phillies lost to the Mets in the 2018 game.
Both teams are off Monday.
The Red Sox and Toronto Blues have yet to mention starters for Tuesdays game in Boston.
The Orioles open a three-game series Tuesday in the home contrary to the Chicago White Sox. The Orioles send RHP Austin Voth (3-1, 4.86 ERA) to the mound against Chicago RHP Lucas Giolito (9-7, 5.34).
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports