California pitcher Grant Holman set the standard for excellent pitching performances in the Little League World Series with a seven-inning no-hitter on Friday in first-round action from Williamsport, Pa.
According to ESPN, Holman became the first pitcher to throw an extra-innings no-no in the tournament since 1979. The 6'4", 166-pound pitcher dominated the Michigan lineup to the tune of 13 strikeouts as he out-dueled opposing pitcher Chad Lorkowski.
Lorkowski allowed just one hit (to the leadoff batter in the first inning, no less) through six innings and tallied 12 strikeouts but was forced out of the game when he went over the 85-pitch limit.
The Chula Vista, Calif., team would take advantage of Lorkowski's absence in the next inning. Patrick Archer drove in two runs with a single, and Micah Pietila-Wiggs made it a three-run game with the fourth hit of the inning to ultimately top the Grosse Pointe, Mich., team.
The pitch-count rule almost ended Holman's night before he could see the game to its conclusion, though. Holman retired the second-to-last batter he would face right at the 85-pitch mark, which allowed him to face the next batter, as Little League rules state that a pitcher cannot start at an at-bat beyond the 86th pitch.
Holman was just glad he could help the team prevail in its opening game, telling Darian Somers of LittleLeague.org, "It feels good. It also feels great that we went out there and won our first game."
Holman's historic performance was impressive enough to warrant some recognition from a Southern California MLB team. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tweeted out their congratulations:
Holman's team will now take on the Mid-Atlantic representative from Newark, Del., on Sunday, August 18 at 8 p.m. ET. The Michigan team will attempt to stave off elimination when it takes on Midwest representative Iowa on Saturday.