Covina wins Pony League World Series in extra innings, beats Korea 3-1 for first title since 1999


By Fred J. Robledo
Down to its last out, Covina Pony rallied to deliver a championship of a lifetime.
After James Jimenez’s dominant pitching performance allowed Covina to take Seoul, Korea to extra innings in the Dick’s Sports Goods Pony League World Series championship in Washington, PA., on Wednesday, James used his bat to finish the job.

James belted the go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the eighth, and Covina held on for a dramatic 3-1 victory to claim its first Pony League title since the Chuck Tiffany led team won the title in 1999. It also was the third Pony League World Series title in history for the 14-year-old all-stars from Hollenbeck Park.
“I can’t even describe that feeling as it went over the fence,” Jimenez told the Observer-Reporter. “I was running like it was going to be an extra base hit, because that’s all I thought it really was. When I saw it go over the fence and hit the light pole, I didn’t really know what to do other than slow down and celebrate.”
For Jimenez to have a chance to be the hero, it needed magic in the seventh.
Covina, down to its last out, tied the score 1-1, when Hector Bautista’s two-out single drove in Josh Logan to send the game to extra innings.

“Jubilation. That’s the only way I can describe it,” Covina manager Richard Graciano said. “I kept telling my boys we are going to break through. It was all about being patient.”
Jimenez allowed one run over seven innings and became one of 24 pitchers in Pony League World Series history to win three games in a single tournament.
“I just kept going out there and throwing strikes,” Jimenez said. “My defense just was huge behind me.”
Korea took a 1-0 lead in the first after Kim Min-Hyuk doubled in Bae Hun-Jun, and it nearly held up behind pitcher Lee Yong-Jun, who allowed just three hits over five innings, striking out four.
Covina’s Jake Vargas and Anthony Rasmussen combined to close out the eighth, with Rasmussen getting the save.

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  • Conq ’76

    Congratulations! Wow!

  • tanksolot

    Parade time in Covina!!

  • Valley Athletics

    When a SGV pony makes it to the World Series it usually wins it . The tough part is getting there . Congrats :

  • Jastrab

    Congrats…Covina…

  • Valley Athletics

    I wonder if these kids are All freshman . Some of them look pretty big . A couple years back a friend of mine who’s has a kid at Diamond Bar Pony was mad because Diamond Bar put together a team with kids who already played freshman baseball at local schools . What Diamond Bar Pony did Allowed these kids sign up After high school season ended and play last couple weeks of Pony season . So kids who played the whole Pony season did not make the All stars .

    • TMC

      Many leagues do this. Since CIF will not allow kids to play both during the season these leagues wait until the HS kids come back. Others will begin with non HS kids but let the HS kids come in during season to let them be eligible for All Star play. Sorry, if I have a league going into All Star play I want my top 12-14 kids in my league to represent.