The mood hit a fever pitch Saturday at the 2014 Little League World Series, as elimination games took center stage.
With everything to lose, the 0-1 teams from the prior two days left everything on the diamond in a display that was an obvious uptick in competitiveness and overall entertainment. The end results as the day progresses are more hotly contested than the lopsided affairs that peppered the opening day.
Below, let's take a look at how it all went down Saturday and which teams will move on in one of the sporting world's most entertaining affairs.
Day 3 Scores
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|Asia-Pacific - Seoul LL - Seoul, South Korea||1-0|
|Australia - Perth Metro North LL - Perth, Australia||1-1|
|Canada - South Vancouver LL - Vancouver, British Columbia||0-1|
|Caribbean - Miguel Luzunaris LL - Humacao, Puerto Rico||1-0|
|Europe-Africa - South Moravia LL - Brno, Czech Republic||0-2|
|Japan - Tokyo Kitasuna LL - Tokyo, Japan||1-0|
|Latin America - Coquivacoa LL - Maracaibo, Venezuela||0-1|
|Mexico - Guadalupe Linda Vista LL - Guadalupe, Nuevo León||1-0|
|Great Lakes - Jackie Robinson West LL - Chicago, Illinois||1-0|
|Mid-Atlantic - Taney Youth Baseball Association LL - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||1-0|
|Midwest - Canyon Lake LL - Rapid City, South Dakota||0-2|
|New England - Cumberland American LL - Cumberland, Rhode Island||0-1|
|Northwest - Lynnwood Pacific LL - Lynnwood, Washington||1-1|
|Southeast - South Nashville LL - Nashville, Tennessee||0-1|
|Southwest - Pearland East LL - Pearland, Texas||1-0|
|West - Mountain Ridge LL - Las Vegas, Nevada||1-0|
You can view the latest bracket courtesy of LittleLeague.org.
Day 4 Schedule
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|South Korea vs Puerto Rico||12 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Nevada vs Illinois||2 p.m||ESPN||--|
|Mexico vs Japan||5 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Texas vs Pennsylvania||7 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
Day 3 Recap
Washington 7, South Dakota 5
Washington and South Dakota both got off to explosive starts Saturday, to say the least.
After the team that hails from the Northwest posted two runs in the top of the opening frame, South Dakota's Matthew Hegre took control of the contest with a three-run homerun.
Chris Masse of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette detailed Hegre's impressive performance to date:
As if to showcase just how evenly matched both sides were, though, the teams posted two runs apiece in the third inning. It was Washington that was able to keep that momentum alive from there on out, posting two runs in the fourth and an insurance run in the fifth.
The game did end with a huge amount of controversy, though, as South Dakota made a late push in the final frame but had a runner called out at the plate. The runner fell and then took a wide path around the catcher, who was struggling to get the ball in his glove. Per the broadcast, officials could not overturn the play because it was a judgment call on the field.
Arlingtonvoice.com editor Ken Costlow put it best after the ruling:
Hegre tied with Daniel Vigoren and Washington's Karsen Tjarneberg with three RBI while Dylan Richey from the losing side was the best on the mound, going 3.2 innings and fanning five batters.
Australia 10, Czech Republic 1
Both sides entered Saturday after massive blowouts to start the tournament and were on the hunt to avoid being the first squad eliminated.
The Czech Republic suffered a 10-3 loss at the hands of South Korea Thursday, while things were even uglier for Australia in a 16-3 loss to Puerto Rico that took just four innings.
Despite this, Australia came out hot and struck first in the second inning. Javier Pelkonen then hit a home run in the fourth inning to make it 2-0.
Thanks to superb work from Australia's Callum Schipp on the mound, the Czech Republic was unable to get on the board until the fifth inning. He tossed 5.1 innings overall and fanned 11 batters to lead the way for his team.
Things really got out of hand in the fifth inning, which saw Schipp's team post five runs in the frame. It was enough to awaken the opposition's bats to the tune of a single run in the bottom of the frame, but three more from Australia put an end to the contest.
In total, Pelkonen finished with three RBI as the hottest batter on the day. He also tallied three hits, as did Matthew Coleman and Nicholas Riley.
The win marks Perth, Australia's first at the LLWS, while the Czech Republic heads home with an 0-2 record. The tournament's Instagram account captured the special moment:
Stay tuned, though, as the rest of Saturday's slate touts impressive matchups that include teams not on the wrong side of lopsided blowouts in the past few days.
Canada and Venezuela, teams that both lost their opening games by just one run, will look to vent their frustrations on one another. Tennessee and Rhode Island will close out the day after close losses of their own. With their backs against the wall, fans should expect nothing but tense, thrilling contests the rest of the day.
Note: All statistics and info courtesy of LLBWS.org unless otherwise specified.