BANGOR, Maine — Center fielder Raysheandall Michel had his second consecutive two-hit game, including a rare Senior League World Series home run in the spacious confines of Mansfield Stadium, and Latin American champs Willemstad, Curacao moved a step closer to a berth in the semifinals with a five-inning 11-1 win over U.S. East titlist Bristol, Connecticut, Tuesday night.
Curacao is now 2-0 while Bristol fell to 1-2.
Curacao will turn around and play Europe-Africa winner Emilia, Italy in the 9:30 a.m. opener on Wednesday. Tournament director Mike Brooker has moved all the games up to try to beat the incoming rain. The other three games will start at noon, 2:30 and 5 p.m. instead of 1, 5 and 8 p.m. Emilia is 0-2 with a pair of extra-inning setbacks.
Bristol will take on U.S. Central champ Grand Rapids, Mich., 0-2, in the 5 p.m. game after the 2:30 p.m. game between Bangor and U.S. Southeast champ Dumfries, Va., who are both 2-0.
Michel homered in a six-run first-inning rally which featured five hits, two walks and an error.
A misplayed one-out grounder by the third baseman was followed by Michel’s homer, which curled just inside the left field foul pole.
“I thought I put a good swing on the ball. It was a low inside curveball. It’s a pitch I like,” said Michel who admitted he was “worried it was going to go foul.”
“He went fishing for that,” said Bristol catcher Jesse Caron. “It was knee-high and he pulled it. It was like a golf swing. I was hoping it would hook foul.”
Rrowensly Klaber then appeared to belt a homer to left center but the ball was actually trapped between the top of the fence and the tarp so he wound up with a ground-rule double.
One out later, Swindly Lint rifled an RBI double to left.
Starting pitcher Dylan Skrip walked the next two hitters on eight pitches and Nathanael Makaya grounded a two-run single to left.
Makaya moved up on the throw from the outfield and scored when Riordan Windster greeted reliever Jackson Hines with a bloop RBI single to center.
“We had a bad first inning and that took the wind out of our sails,” said Bristol manager Mike Ziogas. “[Michel] hit a nice homer. He put a good swing on the ball.”
He added that the error proved costly.
“Extra outs and leadoff walks come back to haunt you in these games,” said Ziogas. “But tomorrow is a new day and we’ll bounce back and play hard.”
Hard-throwing lefty Kennymar Martina took full advantage of the early cushion as he tossed four innings of six-hit, one-run ball to notch the win. He had five strikeouts and no walks and threw 38 strikes among his 50 pitches. Geedion Jakob hurled a scoreless fifth inning.
Curacao added two more runs in the second on singles by Michel and Klaber, Roldolfo Rodriguez’s sinking line drive double to center that scored Michel and Zaino Henriquez’s looping RBI single to right.
Connor Crean replaced Hines on the mound in the third and was reached for a run on two walks, a wild pitch and Mairion Brunker’s sacrifice fly.
Bristol scored its only run in the bottom of the third on singles by Hines, Caron and Brad Burney and Ben Mazzone’s run-scoring fielder’s choice.
But Curacao scored twice more in the fourth on three walks, a hit batter, a run-producing passed ball and an infield error.
Martina said he had a “good fastball” and, after being staked to the big lead, concentrated on throwing strikes.
“I threw a lot of strikes and the defense made the plays,” said Martina whose mates played errorless ball behind him.
“They’re a good team,” said Ziogas. “They’re very tight defensively. They’re a very good athletic team in the field. Their shortstop [Henriquez] made a lot of plays…in the hole and up the middle. He’s really good.”
“And they had a lot of good swings,” said Caron.
Henriquez had a pair of hits for Curacao as did Michel and Klaber.
Bristol had six singles from six different hitters.