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LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES

Ginther Sets It Up for Conejo Valley

August 26, 2004|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Timmy Ginther, the switch-hitting center fielder for the Conejo Valley baseball team from Thousand Oaks, has been a spark on offense during the postseason, igniting one rally after another.

Conejo Valley is counting on Ginther to again be the table-setter today when it plays South Caroline of Preston, Md., in a United States semifinal at 5 p.m. (PDT). The winner will meet Lamar National of Richmond, Texas, in the U.S. final Saturday night.

In Conejo Valley's opening 9-2 victory over Morganton, N.C., on Sunday, Ginther began the third inning with a bunt single. Six runs and six hits later, he ended the inning with a pop out to the third baseman.

The next day against Northwest of Davenport, Iowa, he reached on an error to start the bottom of the first, which led to the first run in a 10-0 five-inning victory.

He took four straight balls to start the game Tuesday against Lincoln, R.I., but for one of the few times in the series, did not come around to score.

"When Timmy gets on base, things usually happen," said Conejo Valley Manager Tom Ginther, Timmy's father.

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Chance Murski hit a grand slam in the second inning Wednesday night to pace Richmond to an 8-2 victory over Morganton in a U.S. semifinal played in front of 18,250.

Randal Grichuk, the only player back from last year's team that blew a four-run in the bottom of the seventh against Saugus, Mass., and lost, 14-13, in a semifinal, added a three-run homer in the fourth to give Richmond a 7-0 lead. It was Grichuk's fourth home run of the tournament, the most by any player.

Richmond scored 43 runs in three pool-play games this year, the most by any team.

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Curacao earned a spot in the International final Saturday afternoon by defeating Chinese Taipei, 9-8, in seven innings.

Curacao gave up four runs in the top of the sixth to fall behind, 8-4, but rallied to tie the score in its half of the inning on a two-run single by Jonathan Schoop. One inning later, Schoop grounded a single to left field to drive in Willie Rifaela with the winning run.

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Vice President Dick Cheney arrived by caravan about an hour before the U.S. semifinal, visiting the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum and then sitting with the crowd on a hill behind the left-center field fence for part of the first two innings. President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry also are rumored to be paying visits this weekend.

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