For every one of the competitors at the Little League World Series, Wednesday, Aug. 21, is going to be a big day in their lives.
Although there are only two games on the slate, both will be important. The winner of each will be just one game away from the championship games in the United States and International brackets.
With all four teams in action sporting undefeated records heading into the semifinals, these are the four best teams in the entire tournament. Here's all the information you'll need to make sure you don't miss any of the action.
Note: Live streams for the games can be found on Watch ESPN.
|Mexico vs. Japan||4 p.m. ET||ESPN||Watch ESPN|
|West (California) vs. New England (Connecticut)||8 p.m. ET||ESPN||Watch ESPN|
Game 23: Mexico vs. Japan
If you're looking for the team that has been the most impressive thus far, look no further than Mexico. It opened up play with a 12-0 win over Australia, but put together one of the best performances of the tournament by defeating Panama, 13-0.
Considering that's the same Panama squad that made it to the international championship game last year, that's an impressive feat.
As impressive as those wins were, defeating Japan will be a new challenge. Japan has produced two of the last three champions and has won impressively over the Czech Republic, 7-3, and took a tough matchup from Taiwan, 3-2.
Mexico's pitching has yet to give up a single run, but Japan has proven that it can win the close ones with its performance against Taiwan. That won't matter much, though, if Mexico proves to be nearly unhittable on the mound again.
Game 24: New England vs. West
The United States' semifinal doesn't just boast a great matchup of teams, but individual talents as well.
Chula Vista, Calif. boasts Grant Holman, the star pitcher who tossed an extra-innings no-hitter in the tournament's opening round while Harry Azadian, of Westport, Conn., has been nothing short of spectacular.
Holman's California squad showed off its versatility by edging Michigan in Holman's no-no, then putting on an all-out offensive barrage in a second-round win over Delaware where Holman hit a grand slam in a 15-3 rout.
Now, they'll have to take on the New England champs. Led by Azadian, Westport has taken a similar path to this point. It won a defensive pitchers duel in Round 1 with a 3-2 win over Tennessee, but went offensive to beat Washington, 9-7.
Azadian picked up the win on the mound on both occasions and is 4-for-6 at the plate with a home run and four RBI.
What happens when these two talented teams meet on the field is sure to be an intriguing story.