The 2013 Little League World Series has been as spectacular as the hype suggested it would be. With everything from no-hitters to extra-inning endings, teams have played at an absolutely spectacular level.
The question is, which teams put on the most dominant performances from Monday's action?
Ten teams were in action, hoping to move on in the tournament and advance one step closer to the championship. Only five could win, but a certain group distanced itself from the pack and truly dominated the day.
Here are those teams.
Southeast (Nashville, Tenn.) 10 - 0 Mid-Atlantic (Newark, Del.)
Southeast started out slow, losing 3-2 against a New England team from Westport, Conn. New England is now undefeated, while Southeast was left on the brink of elimination entering its second game.
Over its past two outings, Nashville, Tenn. has outscored its opponents by a count of 22-2.
This time around, Nashville took down Newark, Del. by a one-sided score of 10-0. The hitting was superb, the pitching matched it and, at every turn, Nashville managed to rise up and achieve pure momentum over the opposition.
You can thank Zane Denton for that.
Denton smacked a grand slam during the second inning, creating an insurmountable lead for the Southeast squad. Knox Preston also hit a home run, driving in two, while Robert Hassell, Trae McLemore, Bricen Russell and Connor Smith tallied one RBI each.
Mid-Atlantic, meanwhile, couldn't muster a single run.
Nashville will now move on to face Sammamish, Wash. after it defeated Urbandale, Iowa by a score of 6-5. The winner of that game will play either Westport, Conn. of New England or Chula Vista, Calif. of the West Region.
Should it advance, Tennessee would have a chance to win its second consecutive United States Championship.
South Williamsport has been kind to Tennessee, allowing the team opportunities to build upon its flaws. In that time, it's gone from a close loss to a top-tier team to one of the most dominant forces around, winning 12-0 and 10-0, respectively.
Don't blink, or you might miss yet another stellar performance.
Latina America (Aguadulce, Panama) 12 - 0 Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)
Aguadulce, Panama has experienced an up-and-down ride through the 2013 Little League World Series. It defeated the Caribbean 9-4 in the tournament's opening game, then fell 13-0 against a dominant Mexico squad.
Now facing elimination, Panama responded with a 13-0 drubbing of Canada.
Canada lost to Chinese Taipei by a lopsided count of 10-2 but defeated Brno, Czech Republic 4-3 to stay alive. Just as it had picked up momentum, however, Panama pounced and made quite the statement.
Jean Mar Sanchez hit a home run with four RBI, and Edgardo Rosales blasted a solo shot of his own. Jean Cornejo, Juan Crisp and Rafael Eysseric each added two RBI, while Carmelo Cruz picked up one, rounding out a hitting clinic from the Panamanian sluggers.
Rosales also added 2.2 innings of scoreless work from the mound.
With the win, Panama will move on to play Chinese Taipei in a clash between two of the best international teams involved. Should it survive, it'll play the loser of Japan vs. Mexico with the opportunity to play in the International Championship Game.
The pressure is on.
If this game showed us anything, it's that Panama's bats are just as dangerous as we assumed they would be. A shutout loss to Mexico was more a result of its opponent's brilliance than its own woes.
For that reason, we're inclined to believe that Panama will give Chinese Taipei fits should the bats come to life, as they should. If that's the case, we may just see Panama contending for the international title after all.
Panama's performance against Canada certainly suggests it's capable.
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