Little League World Series 2013: Key Player for Each Remaining U.S. Team
With only three teams remaining in the United States Championship for the 2013 Little League World Series, the drama is starting to pick up.
Westport, Conn., will face Sammamish, Wash., in an elimination game that will send one of the talented squads home. Considering these two teams already faced each other in an exciting 9-7 game won by the Northeast side, the second matchup is certain to be thrilling as well.
The winner will get a chance to face Chula Vista, Calif., for the right to represent the United States in the Little League World Series.
Leading each of these teams is a number of quality players having spectacular runs throughout the tournament. However, each side has one key person whose play will decide the fate for the rest of the event.
West: Grant Holman
There might not be a more dominant player in the LLWS than Grant Holman at this point. SportsCenter recapped his play so far:
Grant Holman is a 6-foot-4,13-year-old on Chula Vista, CA. In LLWS, he has a no-hitter, grand slam & 3-run HR. Quite a run, young fella. .— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 22, 2013
The pitcher/shortstop has been quite impressive on the mound and at the plate so far and has carried Chula Vista to an undefeated record in the national tournament.
As long as this continues, it is hard to imagine any remaining squad having the ability to knock off the California club.
Holman's pure skill in all areas of the game could make him a lot of money someday if he continues to improve.
New England: Chad Knight
Connecticut has gotten plenty of production from the offense in this tournament, but for the team to be successful, it needs more strong play from pitcher Chad Knight.
The young player was excellent against Nashville, giving his opponent very little to hit while striking out eight batters in less than five innings. This will need to continue for Westport to keep up its winning ways.
Each remaining opponent has a deep lineup of quality hitters, so Knight will have his work cut out for him. However, his pure stuff should allow him to succeed where other pitchers have failed.
Northwest: Jacob Dahlstrom
While Sammamish has plenty of balance, the reason it is still alive in this tournament is because of the lineup. The team swept through the regionals thanks to an average of 10.5 runs per game and has been just as solid in this tournament, scoring six runs in each.
A big reason for that has been the play of Jacob Dahlstrom in the middle of the order. He is getting on base at an incredible rate and has been even better with players on base.
His four hits against Urbandale were a big reason the club was able to hold on to the one-run victory. He also helps out as a pitcher, although he is much more valuable as a hitter.
While the squad has other big hitters in the lineup, the Washington team will not be able to win without another strong performance from Dahlstrom. Fortunately, his skill with the bat will ensure another good showing.
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