Palma Ceia of Tampa ousted the defending Junior Baseball Little League World Series champions Saturday afternoon in Taylor, Mich., bringing home Florida's fourth title in the series for 13- and 14-year-olds.
Palma Ceia, the Southeast champions, beat the International champs from Chinese Taipei 2-1 on Patrick Kiszla's two-run homer. Kiszla also closed out the game in relief, striking out the final two batters.
With two outs in the second inning, Kiszla hit his first homer of the tournament to left-centerfield, driving in Trent Wessel.
Palma Ceia starter Jake Woodford lasted five innings, striking out five. His Chinese Taipei counterpart, Chen Fei Lin, went the distance, giving up four hits with six strikeouts.
Shortstop Ronnie Ramirez, manager Jorge Ramirez's son, made a highlight-reel, leaping catch in the final inning on Chinese Taipei's Chin Ou.
Palma Ceia last won this World Series in 2004, with Florida teams also winning in 1982 (Belmont Heights) and 1985 (Tampa Bay).
Mark Sakalosky, president of the Palma Ceia Little League, gathered with several families at Eats American Grill on S Dale Mabry Highway to celebrate.
"I think this championship is about the kids," he said. "This is an experience that they are going to take with them for the rest of their lives."
Palma Ceia falls short in softball title game
Croswell, Mich., scored nine runs in the first two innings en route to a 10-0 mercy-rule victory Saturday over Palma Ceia of Tampa in the championships game of the Junior Softball World Series (age 12-14) in Kirkland, Wash.
Croswell, which went unbeaten in six games at the tournament, scored four runs in the first and five more in the second to back pitcher Megan Guitar, who allowed just one hit over five innings. She also drove in three runs.
Palma Ceia committed two errors, and Kattie Weachter gave up seven hits and eight runs in lasting only one inning. Nikki Lopez had the only hit, a double.
Times staff writer Robbyn Mitchell contributed to this report.
Palma Ceia Little League baseball players start the traditional infield dogpile after their 2-1 victory Saturday over Chinese Taipei in the championship game of the Junior Baseball Little League World Series in Taylor, Mich. Patrick Kiszla hit a two-run homer in the second inning, and the Southeast champs were able to make it stand up for the state's fourth title at the event. The Palma Ceia girls failed in their Junior Softball World Series title bid, falling 10-0 in Kirkland, Wash. 3C