The 2014 Little League World Series continued on Friday with the second day of action, and the games proved to be noticeably more competitive than on the opening day of games.
Pretty much every game on Day 2 was tight throughout; this paled in comparison to Day 1, in which three of the four games were decided by double-digit runs. It only sets the stage for the rest of the tournament, which should feature even more exciting affairs.
Here's a look at Friday's results, and what to expect from Day 3.
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Czech Republic vs. Australia||Saturday at 12 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Washington vs. South Dakota||Saturday at 2 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Canada vs. Venezuela||Saturday at 5 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Tennessee vs. Rhode Island||Saturday at 7 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
Note: All of Saturday's games are elimination games between 0-1 teams.
Mexico 4, Canada 3
Mexico's Juan Garza got it done both on the mound and at the plate, spurring his team to a tight 4-3 victory over North American rivals Canada in the opening game for each on Friday.
The game was tight early on, and the two sides took a 1-1 tie into the bottom of the third. Then, Luis Rodriguez cranked a two-run homer to give his team a 3-1 advantage.
One inning later, Garza came to the plate and hit a RBI double that brought around another run and pushed Mexico's advantage to a three-run lead. Canada didn't make its surge until after Garza was taken out of the game.
Here's a tweet from Williamsport Sun-Gazette's Ben Brigandi capping Garza's day from the mound (which was before his RBI):
Juan Garza whiffs two pinch-hitters to strand two runners and keep Mexico's lead at 3-1 over Canada in middle of 4th. He's at 65 pitches.— Ben Brigandi (@benbrigandisg) August 15, 2014
Canada will turn around to play an elimination game on Saturday against Venezuela. Meanwhile, Mexico will get the day off before turning around to play Japan on Sunday.
Pennsylvania 4, Tennessee 0
Mo'ne Davis was the story of the Little League World Series entering play, and through one performance, she's done nothing to change that. Davis dominated from the mound, leading her Philadelphia, Pennsylvania team to a 4-0 victory over South Nashville, Tennessee on Friday.
Davis' stuff was untouchable on Friday. She tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing only two hits throughout and fanning eight batters.
MLB's official Twitter account recognized her outing:
The 13-year-old has made storylines dominating her mostly male competition, and she's proving to have no trouble continuing her swift pitching through play in Williamsport. Despite going up against a talented Tennessee team making its second straight LLWS appearance, she kept up her dominance.
Tennessee's stay in Williamsport could be over just as it's beginning, as it will face Rhode Island in Saturday's late elimination game.
Meanwhile, Davis and Pennsylvania will continue rolling into their Sunday game against Texas.
Japan 1, Venezuela 0
Hot pitching took center stage in Friday's third game, but it was hotter on the Japanese side as Japan took a tight 1-0 victory over Venezuela.
The game was scoreless until the third inning, when Japan pulled in front for good in the top half. Taro Hashiguchi reached third base on a throwing error, and Suguru Kanamori was quick to hit Hashiguchi in with a RBI single.
From then on, Takuma Takahashi took command. He threw a complete-game shutout for Japan, only allowing one hit throughout the game.
It wasn't convincing, but Japan made it through a tough opening matchup and will advance to face Mexico on Sunday.
On the other end of things, Venezuela can get eliminated on Saturday against Canada.
Texas 6, Rhode Island 4
It was tight until the end despite an early lopsided scoreline, but Texas broke through with a 6-4 victory over Rhode Island in Friday's nightcap.
Texas pulled out in front early on and didn't look back. Its victory seemed inevitable from the start, as they jumped out to a five-run lead heading into the final inning.
Rhode Island wasn't done, though. Down 6-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, they put together a furious late rally to close the gap to 6-4. Addison Kopack nearly cranked a walk-off home run to win it before it was caught short of the fence.
Texas will be the next team to get a piece of Davis and Pennsylvania, as the two victors will face off on Sunday. Meanwhile, Rhode Island faces Tennessee in Saturday's final elimination game.