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Hart Tops Japan for Pony Title

August 22, 1986|Special to The Times

WASHINGTON, Pa. — The William S. Hart team from Newhall beat Edogawa, Japan, 3-2, to win the Pony League World Series Thursday night. Afterwards, both teams were in tears.

"Our boys lived together with the Japanese team at Washington-Jefferson College," Hart Coach Regis Malone said. "They made such close friends with those boys in just a week. The Japanese boys were crying because they had lost a close game. When they congratulated each other, our boys couldn't hold it in and started crying, too."

But at least the tears from the Hart team were ones of joy.

Hart scored all its runs in the first inning. Darin Tsukashima singled and scored on a double into the left-center alley by Lance Migita, who went 2-for-4.

Robbie Davis walked and then executed a double steal with Migita. Jason Malone, the coach's 14-year-old son, doubled into the right-field corner, scoring both runners and giving Hart a 3-0 lead.

For Hart, which went undefeated in the double-elimination tournament, it was the second win over Edogawa in three days. Hart beat Edogawa, 12-2 on Tuesday, in a game shortened to five innings because of the 10-run rule. Had Edogawa won Thursday, the teams would have played again today.

For Hart, the win completed what the team referred to as the "triple crown." Ten members of the team played on the 1984 Bronco League World Series champions and the 1982 Mustang League World Series champions.

Even with the title, some players had mixed emotions.

"It's a great feeling, but it was kind of sad toward the end," Migita said. "We were good friends with them and didn't really want to beat them."

Jason Malone, who went the full seven innings, striking out 15 batters, said: "It's hard to explain. You feel on top of the world."

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