Carolina hurler tosses no-no in LLWS opener
The Little League World Series got underway with a full day of action Friday in Williamsport, Pa., after rain postponed Thursday's opening day.
Eight games are on Friday's docket, which began with Uganda vs. Dominican Republic at 10 a.m. ET and ends with Mid-Atlantic (Lewisberry, Pa.) vs. Midwest (Webb City, Mo.) at 8 p.m.
Below are game-by-game results and must-see plays:
Dominican Republic: 1
Uganda strung together hits in the third inning to produce a three-run frame, highlighted by a two-run double by Francis Alemo. He was also the star on the mound, fanning seven over four innings of one-run ball.
The Dominican Republic's Alex Martinez entered with his team trailing, but he kept the Dominicans within striking distance by striking out all four batters he faced in the final 1 1/3 innings.
Southwest (Pearland, Texas): 1
Northwest (Portland, Ore.): 0
An epic pitching duel between Texas' Jarrett Tadlock and Oregon's Dylan MacLean was spoiled by Texas' Isaac Garcia, who launched a solo home run in the fourth inning for the game's only run. Oregon's Spencer Scott accounted for the game's only other hit.
MacLean only made one mistake -- a solo homer -- in an otherwise sterling performance, striking out 12 over 5 2/3 innings in a losing effort. In addition to his homer, Garcia fanned three over 1 2/3 innings.
Garcia recorded the first hit of Game 2 with a bang, smoking a solo homer to left-center field for what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Venezuela's Yeiner Fernandez broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning and also struck out five in two innings of relief. Australia starter Blake Cavill allowed two runs [both unearned] and struck out 10 in 3 2/3 innings.
Venezuela's Luis Castillo reached in all four of his plate appearances (two hits, two walks), while Venezuelan starter Johan Garcia allowed a two-run homer but fanned eight in four innings.
West (Bonita, Calif.): 14
Great Lakes (Bowling Green, Ky.): 2
California exploded for an 11-run third inning -- highlighted by Nick Maldonado's grand slam -- downed Kentucky via the mercy rule in 3 1/2 innings. Antonio Andrade, Walker Lannom, Levi Mendez, Dante Schmid and Nate Nankil also homered for California.
Lannom went 3-for-3, including a homer, with two RBIs and three runs scored, while Nankil recorded two hits and scored twice.
Maldonado broke the game wide open with a grand slam in the third inning.
Mexico's Raul Leon led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple and Daniel Zaragoza followed with a game-winning single to lead Mexico to the first walk-off win of the 2015 Little League World Series. Zaragoza also started for Mexico and fanned 10 over five innings.
Starting pitcher Matthew Wilkinson was absolutely filthy for Canada, striking out 16 in five scoreless innings. He also held Mexico to just two hits while walking two.
Zaragoza snapped a scoreless tie with a walk-off single in the bottom of the sixth.
Southeast (Taylors, S.C.): 7
New England (Cranston, R.I.): 0
South Carolina's Alex Edmondson turned in the pitching performance of the day thus far, twirling a no-hitter -- his second straight -- and striking out 15 to lead South Carolina to victory. Edmondson needed just 78 pitches for his gem, with his only blemish being a walk to the second batter he faced. He also went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs at the plate.
South Carolina's Gage Laymon and Ben Tumblin each recorded two hits and drove in a run.
South Carolina's Terrence Gist led off the third inning with a solo homer, much to the thrill of his mother, whose reaction was captured in a live TV interview. And Edmondson capped off his no-hitter with the last of his 15 strikeouts on the day.
Japan's Kengo Tomita connected for a pair of homers, including a first-inning blast that helped his club jump out to an early 6-0 lead. Asia-Pacific chipped away before Tomita added an insurance run with his second homer of the day in the sixth inning. Asia-Pacific tacked on two runs in the top of the sixth, but its rally came up just short.
Japan's Shingo Tomita added a home run to go with Kengo Tomita's two, while Yen Cheng Yu teed off for a two-run homer as part of Asia-Pacific's late rally.
The Tomita brothers put on an early show for Japan, each going yard just three batters apart in the first inning.
Pennsylvania came out swinging early and often in the final game of the night, posting a 10-run second inning followed by an eight-run third inning en route to winning via the mercy rule in four innings. Cole Wagner led the charge, going a perfect 4-for-4 with two home runs, including a grand slam to cap his team's scoring.
Wagner had plenty of help, as teammate Kaden Peifer chipped in a home run of his own and Adam Cramer went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Jaden Henline added two hits of his own, while striking out five batters over 2 1/3 innings on the mound. Chayton Krauss also had a pair of hits and tossed the final 1 2/3 innings with two more strikeouts.
Wagner teed off for a grand slam -- his second homer of the inning -- to put the finishing touches on Pennsylvania's 18-run outburst.
Four teams will be eliminated from the LLWS on Saturday as the eight teams that lost on Friday will return to the field for four win-or-go-home ballgames. The action starts at 1 p.m. ET, when Australia takes on the Dominican Republic, followed by Oregon taking on Kentucky at 3 p.m. ET. Asia-Pacific will then take on Canada at 6 p.m. ET, while Rhode Island and Missouri will cap off the four-game slate when they meet at 8 p.m. ET.
As for the eight winning teams on Friday -- Venezuela, Uganda, Texas, California, Mexico, Japan, South Carolina and Pennsylvania -- they will have an off-day on Saturday before returning to action on Sunday.