Saturday, August 2, 2014
2014 Eastern Region: Day 1 Recap
Newark National (DE) 13, West Salisbury (MD) 7
This game looked like it would be a laugher by the third inning as Newark banged out nine hits in the second and third innings and scored 13 runs. The game wasn't super crisp with nine total errors (Little League only charged seven), but West Salisbury battled to the end. It's pitching only allowed three hits in the other four innings combined and Maryland struck out 12 batters total. Seth Abbey did a nice job in relief. Delaware's pitching wasn't the sharpest, but the staff threw strikes all day. Newark's four returning players were as good as expected, but the support cast showed they can hit the ball. Delaware definitely has some depth. My assessment after this one though? I'm sticking with my 0-4, and 2-2 predictions.
Check out the rest after the jump!
Falmouth (ME) 3, Goffstown (NH) 2
The best game of the day was a classic Little League game. We saw five pitchers total still, but the game was played to win and both teams went after it with their starters. New Hampshire doesn't look like they hit as well as expected (which is going to mess up the predictions a bit), but both pitchers, Conor Hujsak and Clay Campbell, were very good. Falmouth hung in all game starting with Sam Manganello's rocket off the scoreboard in centerfield. After going down 2-1 in the fifth on a mental and physical error by its relief pitcher, Falmouth battled in the sixth despite being down to its final strike. Josh LeFevre started it off with a double and then starting pitcher Alex Smith cranked a two-run walkoff dinger to win it. Goffstown threw five straight curveballs to Smith in the at-bat, and instead of blowing one by him, Smith saw his sixth straight curve and it was blasted out of the park.
Colonie (NY) 6, Northwest Washington (DC) 3
Colonie jumped out to a 5-0 lead against Northwest's starting pitcher and it looked like the rout was on, but Northwest went to its junk-balling lefty, Max DeLorme, who was magnificent. DeLorme baffled Colonie with his 44-foot curveball for 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball. He struck out six. Northwest was hurt with four unearned runs in the game. After predicting a mercy-rule game, it's obvious that Northwest is a little better than expected and Colonie might be a little down from its high expectations. Props to NWLL for holding a team that scored 53 runs in its last three games to just two earned runs.
Fairfield American (CT) 9, Williston (VT) 4
The nightcap went pretty much as expected. Fairfield picked up three runs in the first inning and a fourth in the second inning on a solo home run from nine-hitter Trey Hensel. Williston battled back by picking up two runs off Fairfield's top pitcher in the third on the back of an RBI triple by Jonah Roberts. Connecticut put the game away in the fourth with four runs, but Vermont did not help themselves with walks. This isn't the same level of Connecticut team as the past four years, but those teams were all elite of the elite. Connecticut showed off its top three pitchers and they're definitely deep. Number two pitcher, Sam Davenport ran into trouble when he faced the top of Vermont's lineup, but he started with 12 strikes in 13 pitches and four straight strikeouts. His curveball was filthy.
East Region Rankings After Day 1
3. New York
5. New Hampshire
6. Washington D.C.
OFF: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts
Random Thoughts: I struggled with these Day 1 rankings. There's no "bad" teams and there's no "Williamsport" teams as of yet. Pitching-wise, there were a bunch of guys that threw well. There were 22 pitchers on Day 1 this year compared to 29 last year, so that's an improvement. I always talk about the 225-foot fences after Day 1 because it's such a change from the rest of the tournament. The extra 20 feet took away about 10 home runs on the day. That's an incredible game changing amount. I love it.
Home Run Meter: 4 (Last Year: 2, Previous Year: 3)
Strikeout Meter: 68 (Last Year: 66, Previous Year: 50)
Prediction Record: 3-1 (Darn walkoff homer)
Saturday's Predictions: Pennsylvania over Maryland 10-3, Rhode Island over Massachusetts 6-5, New Jersey over Washington DC 9-2, Connecticut over Maine 9-3.
Join the Discussion: Little League World Series Discussion Group
Like our page: Little League Insider
Follow us on Twitter: @LittleLeaguePro
Follow us on Instagram: @LittleLeagueInsider