Carlos Pineda struck out 11, and Jurickson Profar hit a two-run homer as Pabao Little League of Willemstad, Curacao, took an early lead and held on for a 5-2 victory over Conejo Valley of Thousand Oaks, Calif., in the Little League World Series championship last night in South Williamsport, Pa.
California scored both of its runs in the top of the sixth and had runners on first and third with two outs. James Brady hit to first baseman Christopher Garia, who won a race to make the final out.
It was the first Little League title for the tiny island in the Netherlands Antilles, and the first for any team from the Caribbean.
It was almost a complete collapse for a California team that many had expected to dominate. Conejo Valley committed just two errors in five games but had three errors by the end of the third inning of the title game. On Saturday night, California had shut out a Texas team that averaged more than 10 runs a game.
In the third-place game, Randal Grichuk tied the Little League World Series record for hits and struck out 11 to lead Lamar National Little League of Richmond, Tex., to a 5-0 victory over Guadalupe, Mexico's Linda Vista Little League.
Grichuk's 12th hit of the series gave Texas a 3-0 lead in the third. He drove in Joey Scheurich with a single to center, tying the record set in 1996 by Hsieh Chin-Hsiung of Fu-Hsing Little League in Taiwan.
* TENNIS: Lleyton Hewitt tuned up for the U.S. Open by defeating Luis Horna of Peru, 6-3, 6-1, in the TD Waterhouse Cup final in Commack, N.Y., for his second ATP title in a row.
Hewitt, seeded second and playing as a wild card, won 20 of 22 first-serve points. Horna, seeded ninth and seeking his first ATP title, committed 32 unforced errors.
Hewitt, the 2001 U.S. Open champion, closed the match with his 12th ace.
"My game has come together well, and I'm ready for the Open," Hewitt said. "I know what it takes since I already won it. It's going to be incredible. Seven five-set matches. I am anxious to get going."
The Australian has won 10 consecutive matches and 15 of the last 16. Yesterday's victory gave him four titles this year -- last week in the District, with the others in Sydney and Rotterdam.
"Usually I take off the week before the U.S Open," Hewitt said. "But since I didn't have a tough week in Washington, I gladly accepted the wild card."
The U.S. Open, the year's last major, begins today. Hewitt, seeded fourth, will face Wayne Ferreira in the first round. Ferreira, a 34-year-old South African who turned pro in 1989, is retiring after the season.
"That makes the match even tougher," Hewitt said. "Wayne certainly doesn't want to end his career that early."
* SOCCER: Liverpool lost for the first time in the Premier League this season, beaten, 1-0, at Bolton on a 38th-minute goal by Kevin Davies.
Davies scored his first goal of the season on Henrik Pedersen's cross, lifting Bolton into third place. The team has nine points from four games, while Arsenal and Chelsea have a maximum 12 points each.
"We're in third place, and we can't ask for anything more than that," Davies said. . . .
Michael Owen made his debut for Real Madrid, setting up a second-half goal by Ronaldo in a 1-0 win at Mallorca in a Spanish league opener.
The former Liverpool striker entered the game in the 24th minute when Madrid's Raul Gonzalez limped off the field. In the 52nd minute, Owen centered a ball from the right side straight into the path of Ronaldo, who improvised by chesting the ball into the net. . . .
Former New York/New Jersey midfielder Ross Paule scored on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute, lifting the visiting Columbus Crew to a 1-1 tie with the MetroStars in an MLS game.
* HORSE RACING: Lion Heart, who finished last as the favorite in the Travers Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga, will be retired after breaking his right front coffin bone in the race. Runner-up to Smarty Jones in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness Stakes, Lion Heart set a moderate pace in the Travers before fading on the far turn. Birdstone, who ruined Smarty Jones's bid for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, won the 135th Travers before a crowd of 48,894.
Trainer Patrick Biancone said Lion Heart's injury would have kept him out of training from four to six months, forcing the colt to miss the Breeders' Cup.
"It's very unfortunate, but it's racing," Biancone said. "He'll go and make some babies. The horse has been very generous to us. He gave everything he had."
Lion Heart, who won the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in his race prior to the Travers, retires with five wins in 10 starts and earnings of $1,390,800.
-- From News Services
and Staff Reports