Little League World Series: American Teams That Made Statements
Players had the chance to make a statement at the Little League World Series over the weekend and the West region champs were one of the American teams that showed the world just how good they can be.
While the LLWS contenders have started to separate from the rest of the pack, other clubs have already been eliminated from title contention after a second loss.
Mexico has looked the best on the International side of the bracket, although Asia Pacific and Japan will have something to say about who comes out of that pool.
The next week will be intense as the youngsters try to keep their dreams of playing in the Little League World Series alive. The players want to keep winning to get to Sunday's championship final.
Here are the American teams that have made statements.
Chula Vista, Calif. (West)
Tje West regional champs from California have already had the most memorable performance of the tournament.
Pitcher Grant Holman threw a no-hitter against Michigan in the first game. He had to go seven innings before his teammates gave him runs to work with, but he made sure that history was made.
It marked the third straight shutout by California pitchers. The offense for Chula Vista took a while to wake up, but it is definitely dangerous once it gets going. The kids from Chula Vista scored at least nine runs in five of the six qualifying games.
Which team will win Wednesday's game?
The story of the next game was the offense. After Mid-Atlantic scored two in the top of the first inning, the West rose to the occasion with game recap courtesy of GameChanger.io via the official website of the LLWS.
A leadoff single by Micah Pietila-Wiggs was followed by a home run by Jake Espinoza to tie the game. The West scored at least two runs in each of the four innings before the 10-run rule ended the game in a 15-3 win for the West.
Three different batters recorded at least two hits for Chula Vista and four hitters had at least two RBI.
Nick Mora gave Chula Vista all it needed on the mound on Sunday. He went all four innings and settled down after a tough first inning.
The West champs looked like there were the favorites entering play in Williamsport, and they have only reinforced those sentiments.
Westport, Conn. (New England)
Westport, Conn. also sits at a perfect 2-0 record after a pair of close calls, as it has had to win the games in different ways.
A 3-2 victory over the Southeast champ showed that Westport's pitching is up to the challenge.
Westport pitchers allowed a total of eight runs in six qualifying games and threw three shutouts. Chad Knight allowed only one run in 4.1 innings and capped a rally with a go-ahead RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning.
On Sunday, the New England representatives had to find a way to outscore the high-powered Northwest offense. New England jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the second inning and added a pair of runs in the fourth to make it 9-1. It was just enough to hold on for a 9-7 win (via GameChanger.io).
Knight again came through for Westport, as he was one of four batters with at least two hits. Harry Azadian was the star of the game, allowing two runs in 3.1 innings and going 3-for-4 with five RBI, including a two-run homer that turned out to be the difference.
Connecticut had to find different ways to win its games, which could be valuable later in the tournament. Westport isn't a one-dimensional squad and it has survived some tough competition.
What's up next
New England vs. West on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2
*All information courtesy of the official website of the Litttle League World Series
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