The 2014 Little League World Series is an annual showcase of some of baseball's brightest young talent from around the world. For a few weeks out of every year, Williamsport, Pennsylvania becomes the best place on the planet to catch a ballgame.
The event is always charming and completely engaging as these enthusiastic kids from around the world get to live out a wonderful dream and play their favorite game in front of huge, rapt audiences and television cameras.
The final field of 16 teams is set, with eight teams from around the world competing with eight from across the United States.
Here is the full schedule for the Little League World Series.
|Little League World Series 2014 Schedule|
|Date||Time (ET)||Game||Matchup||TV Info|
|Thu., Aug. 14||1 p.m.||1||Asia-Pacific vs. Europe-Africa||ESPN|
|3 pm.||2||Great Lakes vs. Northwest||ESPN|
|5 p.m.||3||Caribbean vs. Australia||ESPN2|
|7 p.m.||4||Midwest vs. West||ESPN2|
|Fri., Aug. 15||1 p.m.||5||Mexico vs. Canada||ESPN|
|3 p.m.||6||Mid-Atlantic vs. Southeast||ESPN|
|5 p.m.||7||Latin America vs. Japan||ESPN2|
|8 p.m.||8||Southwest vs. New England||ESPN|
|Sat., Aug. 16||12 p.m.||9||Game 1 Loser vs. Game 3 Loser||ESPN|
|2 p.m.||10||Game 2 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser||ABC|
|5 p.m.||11||Game 5 Loser vs. Game 7 Loser||ESPN2|
|7 p.m.||12||Game 6 Loser vs. Game 8 Loser||ESPN|
|Sun., Aug. 17||12 p.m.||13||Game 1 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner||ESPN|
|2 p.m.||14||Game 2 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner||ABC|
|5 p.m.||15||Game 5 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner||ESPN|
|7 p.m.||16||Game 6 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner||ESPN2|
|Mon., Aug. 18||11 a.m.||Cons. A||Game 9 Loser vs. Game 10 Loser||ESPN2|
|1 p.m.||17||Game 15 Loser vs. Game 9 Winner||ESPN|
|3 p.m.||18||Game 16 Loser vs. Game 10 Winner||ESPN|
|6 p.m.||19||Game 13 Loser vs. Game 11 Winner||ESPN2|
|8 p.m.||20||Game 14 Loser vs. Game 12 Winner||ESPN2|
|Tue., Aug. 19||12 p.m.||Cons. B||Game 11 Loser vs. Game 12 Loser||ESPN|
|3 p.m.||21||Game 17 Winner vs. Game 19 Winner||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||22||Game 18 Winner vs. Game 20 Winner||ESPN|
|Wed., Aug. 20||3 p.m.||23||Game 13 Winner vs. Game 15 Winner||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||24||Game 14 Winner vs. Game 16 Winner||ESPN|
|Thu., Aug. 21||3 p.m.||25||Game 21 Winner vs. Game 23 Loser||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||26||Game 22 Winner vs. Game 24 Loser||ESPN|
|Sat., Aug. 23||12:30 p.m.||27||International Championship||ABC|
|3:30 p.m.||28||United States Championship||ABC|
|Sun., Aug. 24||10 a.m.||29||Third-Place Game||ESPN|
|3 p.m.||30||World Series Championship||ABC|
Taney Youth Baseball Association (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Taney Youth did quite well in the Mid-Atlantic region during World Series qualifying. They went 3-1 during the round-robin portion of the tournament, outscoring their opponents 29-11.
Players like Jared Sprague-Lott, who racked up four RBI against West Salisbury, Maryland, proved the Philly squad can rack up runs when they need to. They're also quite set out on the mound.
Taney Youth possess a formidable weapon in 13-year-old pitcher Mo'Ne Davis. She utilized her blazing fastball to powerful effect to send her team to the finals. Taney Youth beat Newark National of Delaware 8-0 in the clincher, with Davis throwing a sensational three-hit shutout.
She also boasts an awesome walk-up song, per Vice Sports' Lindsay Adler:
Her teammate, outfielder Zion Spearman, believes she may be the top pitcher around, which makes them a dangerous team heading into the final 16.
"To me she is the best pitcher," he said, via The Patriot-News' Jacob Klinger. "And she is an awesome person on and off the field."
Jackie Robinson West Little League (Chicago, Illinois)
Jackie Robinson West absolutely dominated the Great Lakes region. They went 6-0 in qualifying, scoring eight or more runs in five of those games.
They have found contributors in nearly every spot in the lineup. Eddie King put in a gem of a performance against Ohio, racking up two RBI while pitching three innings and striking out three.
In the team's high-scoring regional-final victory over Indiana, it was young Cam Bufford who provided the heroics, hitting a game-changing grand slam. The superlative homer even seemed to be a surprise to young Bufford himself.
It's been a long time since Chicago has been represented in the Little League World Series. Over three decades, in fact. This unlikely team will be quite the story heading into the final, as it looks to take on Lynwood Pacific (Washington) of the Northwest Region on Day 1.
They're also coming into this tournament with plenty of motivation. Last year, they were just one win away from making the finals.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn released a statement in which he showed immense pride in the team. Via ABC7Chicago.com:
Like Jackie Robinson, they didn't hang up their cleats in the face of adversity. Now this year for the first time since 1983, they will get to compete in the Little League World Series. This group of young ballplayers and their coaches have made all of Illinois proud. I wish them the best of luck as they represent our state on the worldwide stage.
With players like Bufford in the fold, look for this team to dominate and make a run at the finals.