BANGOR, Maine — Not even a wardrobe malfunction could ruin Michael Resnick’s day.
The pitcher-shortstop from the West University Little League of Houston, Texas, homered twice, tripled and earned the win on the mound as the U.S. Southwest champions took control of Pool B at the Senior League World Series on Tuesday with a 7-4 win over San Nicolas, Aruba.
The Texans (2-0) are the only unbeaten team left in the five-team pool with games remaining against South Vineland, N.J., (1-1) on Wednesday and Madison, Wis., (1-1) on Thursday. Aruba, also 1-1, faces Italy (1-2) on Wednesday and New Jersey on Thursday.
Resnick damaged his jersey while sliding into third base to complete a third-inning triple, and it began to bother him on the mound in the top of the fourth, when he yielded his only run on three walks and an RBI single by Darl Quandrus.
At first manager Troy Cornelius tried to tape up the shirt before Resnick finally changed jerseys from No. 6 to No. 19, just in time to strike out Sicnaef Loopstok with the bases loaded to end the inning with the Texas East representatives clinging to a 3-1 lead.
“The buttons wouldn’t stick into the holes like they were supposed to and they just kept coming out every other pitch,” said Resnick. “When I was coming to the plate [with the pitch], the jersey would touch down on my forearm, and it was a nagging distraction.”
The new jersey certainly didn’t affect his hitting ability.
Resnick, whose triple hit the base of the fence near the 400-foot mark in center field, crushed a solo homer to straightaway center off Aruba starter Lynell Koolman with two outs in the top of the fifth to extend the Texas lead to 5-1.
Resnick left the mound after four innings after surpassing the 95-pitch SLWS limit, and the Aruban squad continued to pile up baserunners against reliever Matt Luna.
Luna did yield three runs over the next 1ª innings, but like Resnick he kept the Latin American champs from mounting a big rally.
While scoring once in the fifth on three walks and a balk and two runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Cedrik Sint Jago and a bases-loaded walk to Edson Thiel, Aruba left the bases loaded in both innings — and stranded 15 runners for the game.
When Resnick went deep again in the top of the seventh, a two-out, two-run homer to left after a one-out single by Travis Gauntt, the Texans had the breathing room they needed.
“It’s what a little kid dreams about,” said Cornelius. “He almost hits three home runs, and after he hit that first one off the wall, I didn’t think anybody in this tournament was going to hit it farther, but then he did. He’s just a really good hitter and knows exactly what he wants to do at the plate.”
The Texans also got a boost from Kevin Roy, who struck out Quandrus for the final out of the sixth, then retired Aruba in order in the seventh to earn his second save of the tournament.
Gauntt joined Resnick with three hits for Texas, two singles and an RBI double that capped off a three-run rally after two were out in the second.
Koolman retired the first two batters he faced before No. 8 batter Sam Reid walked and No. 9 hitter Luke Cone singled up the middle. John Williamson then blasted a two-run double to deep center, and he scored to make it 3-0 when Gauntt followed with a double that one-hopped the left-field fence.
U.S. Southwest (2-0) 031 010 2 — 5 10 0
Latin America (1-1) 000 112 0 — 4 7 0
Resnick, Luna (5), Roy (6) and Lankford; Koolman, Dirksz (7), Arrindell (7) and J. Bogaerts