Aug. 10, 2003 – The Virgin Islands Explorers swept their opening day games of the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame 12-and-under tournament Sunday in Cooperstown, New York, beating the Garden City, Michigan, Gladiators, 9-1, and the Young Guns of Coral Gables, Florida, 14-1.
Ryan Thomas pitched a no-hitter against the Gladiators as he faced 22 batters through the six-inning game. The Explorers had 10 hits, four of them by the way of home runs.
Jaleel Miller had two hits in three at bats. Jaleel drove in four runs, two with a home run in the fifth inning and another with a solo home run in the fourth. Deron Hanley and Akeem Fleming also had two hits in three at bats — one of them a two-run homer in the fourth.
In addition, Jose Rivera and Lashawn Selwood each went one-for-one, Jose's hit being a solo home run in the second inning.
Akeem and Jahleel hit their home runs back to back in the fourth inning.
Jacob Spreey took the loss for the Gladiators. Ryan got the victory and recorded nine strikeouts.
In the second game, the Explorers continued to keep their opponents hitless as Malik Graham had a no-hitter through three and two-thirds innings. Jose had two hits in as many at bats. Jose hit a grand slam in the fourth inning.
The Explorers led 3-0 going into the top of the fourth inning and then they exploded for 11 runs. They had five hits, got four walks and the Young Guns committed one error in that inning.
Malik got the victory for the Explorers. Brandon E-Banks was the losing pitcher for the Young Guns.
The Explorers are ranked sixth out of 64 teams in the tournament after the first day of competition. The team comprises top 12-and-under baseball players from throughout the Virgin Islands — nine from St. Thomas and seven from St. Croix.
The Explorers play two more games on Monday, at 8:30 a.m. against the New Hampshire Diamond Devils and then at 1:45 p.m. against the Glen Park Yankees from New York.
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