|Courtesy of Paul Alesse, LiSPN.com.|
Taney (PA) 8, Newark National (DE) 4
The first game of the tournament between two teams that can win this thing had an excitement in the air on Sunday morning. It could've had something to do with the fact that Mo'Ne Davis was getting the start against a team with Little League World Series veterans. Davis looked cool and calm during her warm up routine and that unflappable swagger continued right into the game. Davis induced a pop up and struck out Delaware's two best hitters to start the game and she did it with a fastball that gets into the mid to upper sixties and a curveball that she puts where she wants. She took a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts into the sixth inning as Taney dominated the game with an 8-1 lead. Davis lost some zip on her fastball by the sixth inning and the third time through the order Jack Hardcastle and Brandon Sengphachanh hit back-to-back homers to make it 8-4. Joe Richardson came into get the final out of the game though and preserve the 8-4 victory. Jared Sprague-Lott blasted his tournament-leading second home run. Jahli Hendrick was 3-for-3. He's now 6-for-6 in two games. Newark National committed four errors. Three of which were pretty uncharacteristic. One was a rocket by Zion Spearman that anyone would've had trouble getting in front of at shortstop. Spearman, Taney's most feared hitter, is actually hitless this weekend so far.
Check out the rest after the jump!
Williston (VT) 10, Falmouth (ME) 4
Williston stuck to its guns and used four pitchers over the course of the game and eventually its offense came through to pick up its first win of the tournament. Maine took a 2-0 lead in the first with an RBI double by Sam Manganello and RBI single by Alex Smith. Vermont got a run back in the third inning with an RBI hit-by-pitch from Griffin McDermott and then took the lead in the fourth with three runs on a couple errors and another RBI from McDermott. Ben Herskowitz also had a big game with a pair of singles, runs, and an RBI. Jacob Boliba added an RBI late to put the game out of reach. Aidan Johnson was 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Vermont is a solid team all around. They don't do any one thing great or poorly. They're just solid and they won't beat themselves. Maine, on the other hand, is the most athletic looking team I've seen from Maine, but they can't seem to put it all together for six innings.
Toms River (NJ) 6, Colonie (NY) 4
Toms River put the Mid-Atlantic on notice with its first three innings of work today. Jon Giordano proved why he's considered one of the best pitchers in the region in his first outing. Gio was perfect through three innings with eight strikeouts. New Jersey led 6-0 through two innings with a pair of RBIs from Nick DeRose and a three-run blast from Jason Kapp, but Colonie's relief pitching completely shut New Jersey down the rest of the way. Toms River removed Giordano at 50 pitches with 3 1/3 innings pitched, zero runs, one hit, and nine strikeouts. As soon as he came out of the game, Colonie and its large cheering section bounced back. New York scored four runs in the fifth inning, but DeRose came in to pick up the save with two innings of no-hit ball. His curveball was literally unhittable to Colonie's best hitters in big spots. It was the difference in the game and avoided serious embarrassment to New Jersey for the pitching change. I harped on the pitching change a lot because New Jersey didn't need Giordano for any other pool play games and despite the 6-0 lead, NJ did not look great at the plate either with just three hits to that point and nobody in the pen to strike fear into Colonie. Maybe New Jersey knew the curveball would be devastating to New York after seeing them struggle against D.C. with it too. Another note... New Jersey had four hits today and Kayla Roncin had two of them. She has three hits and has reached base in all four plate appearances. Five hits will tie the record for a girl in Bristol with Capitol City's (DC) Sofia Ohanian.
Goffstown (NH) 4, Fairfield (CT) 2
New Hampshire. The sole reason I'm not perfect with my predictions this week. After losing on a walk-off homer to Maine, a team that's not as strong as them, it was tough to see them knocking off Connecticut, but Goffstown battled from the start and held off Fairfield. Derek Steckowych was fantastic on the hill with four innings pitched, allowing just one run on three hits. He struck out seven. Connor Hujsak picked up the save in relief. The big blow came off the bat of Conor O'Connell in the fourth as he drove a 3-run homer to centerfield. Goffstown played great defense all night and Myles Green (single, run scored) made a nifty play at third base by nabbing a runner who overran second base on a ground ball. The New England rankings are now in complete flux. It very well may be Rhode Island and everybody else. We'll see.
East Region Rankings After Day 3
2. Rhode Island
3. New Jersey
6. New Hampshire
7. New York
10. Washington D.C.
Random Thoughts: I don't like to get on hype trains too often, but watching Mo'Ne Davis and Taney today felt like you were seeing something special. I had a chance to hang out with Mo'Ne and some of her teammates after the game today and they just carry themselves so well. They're mature, focused, and having fun. Davis is a legit top of the line pitcher and could easily send Taney to the Little League World Series with another performance like today in a potential final with Delaware or New Jersey.
Home Run Meter: 14 (Last Year: 11, Previous Year: 8)
Strikeout Meter: 162 (Last Year: 163, Previous Year: 129)
Prediction Record: 3-1 (Overall: 10-2)
Monday's Predictions: Delaware over D.C. 7-1, Massachusetts over Vermont 7-6, New York over Maryland 8-5, Rhode Island over New Hampshire 10-3.
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