ABERDEEN, Md. — The West Raleigh 12U All-Stars will play for the 14th annual international championship of Cal Ripken baseball today against Japan, earning a title berth with a 7-3 win Saturday over New England for the United States championship.
The West Raleigh team won the U.S. title at the Ripken Experience Complex in Aberdeen, Md., in the Cal Ripken World Series, which features the top 11- and 12-year-old Babe Ruth League players from around the world.
Victor Vargas went 1-2 for West Raleigh and Kyle Mott took the win in the six-inning victory Saturday.
New England managed just two hits off Mott, who allowed one earned run, walked two and struck out six in four innings of work.
The West Raleigh team, with players from Raleigh, Cary, Apex and Holly Springs, took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Adam Stuart scored Vargas with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Griffin.
New England tied the score in the top of the third, but the Southeast champs scored twice in the fourth on an RBI double by Vargas and an RBI single by Stuart.
New England made it 4-3 in the fifth on a solo home run by Austin Swanson, but the West Raleigh club put the game away with three in the bottom half on an RBI single by Mott, a walk by Vargas and an RBI single by Sam Highfill.
Southeast closer Ryan Sholar got the final six outs to record the save for coach Tyler Highfill's team.