SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Kevin Blum homered, tripled twice and struck out eight to lead Toms River, N.J., to a 10-0 win Tuesday over Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in a Little League World Series consolation game.
Russell Petranto, Patrick Marinaccio and Joey Rose also homered to give New Jersey its first World Series win.
Blum was sharp on the mound against the Saudi Arabia squad comprised mainly of children of Americans living abroad that finished 0-3. The 13-year-old righty allowed just a single each to Braden Barnett and Julian Kinney over five innings before Anthony Deceglie finished the shutout.
After a home run in the second, Blum tripled to right in the fifth and darted home off an errant throw by Danyal Rashid. Blum and Marinaccio each went 3 for 4 and scored three runs.
"We knew the bus ride home would be a lot (more fun) with a win," the 12-year-old Marinaccio said.
While the games were fun, the players said they would also remember the friendships they made with the Japan team, who lived next door in the dorms. Blum and Russell Petranto both proudly said they beat Japan players in table tennis.
"And I always want to remember running out on the field the first time at the Little League World Series," the 13-year-old Petranto said.
It was the 11th straight year the league from Dhahran advanced to South Williamsport.
This year's squad was a little overwhelmed by the World Series hype, manager Jeffrey Barnett said.
"I think they've been rather star-struck all week," Barnett said. "I mean, they're 11 and 12."