The Little League World Series has already provided brilliant finishes, exciting play and the emergence of a few stars. And we're just getting started, folks.
Sunday's play offers the cream of the crop thus far, as the eight teams that won their opening games all face off. That means there are some excellent contests on tap, and below, we'll provide the full schedule and predictions as well for Sunday's action.
You won't want to miss it.
|Date||Time (ET)||Game||Matchup||TV Info||Live Stream|
|Sun., Aug. 17||12 p.m.||13||South Korea vs. Puerto Rico||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun., Aug. 17||2 p.m.||14||Illinois vs. Nevada||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Sun., Aug. 17||5 p.m.||15||Mexico vs. Japan||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sun., Aug. 17||7 p.m.||16||Pennsylvania vs. Texas||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
Puerto Rico over South Korea
This one could really go either way. Both teams faced opponents that were overmatched in their first contests, and both responded by brushing them aside with ease.
Puerto Rico gets the slightest of advantages here because its offense was so impressive against Australia, posting a whopping 16 runs in four innings. This one should be a tighter game, but Puerto Rico will prevail.
Pick: Puerto Rico wins, 7-5
Illinois over Nevada
Pierce Jones is a star.
The Jackie Robinson West slugger burst onto the Williamsport scene in a big way against Washington, ripping three home runs and adding a triple. After the game, even he was a bit surprised by the performance, per Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune:
Pierce Jones (3 HRs): I never have had game like this. I just wanted short, quick approach, drive ball up middle #LittleLeagueWorldSeries— Philip Hersh (@olyphil) August 14, 2014
To be fair, very few people have ever had a game like that. Consider the following stat from SportsCenter on Twitter:
Crazy Stat of Day: Pierce Jones had 15 total bases in LLWS game (3 HR, 3B). MLB WS record is 14 (Albert Pujols) pic.twitter.com/qkskcs0s2o— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 15, 2014
Of course, Jones wasn't the only Illinois player having a big game, as they blitzkrieged Washington with their big bats. No team has looked as impressive behind the dish thus far, and Illinois looks quite capable of out-slugging Nevada, too.
Pick: Illinois wins, 8-5
Japan over Mexico
Flip a coin.
Both of these teams survived tough opponents. Both won behind excellent pitching performances and timely hitting. Both are more than capable of a deep run at this tournament.
But here's an indication of just how good Japan might be—the team they beat in the first round, Venezuela by a 1-0 score, just crushed a pretty solid Canada side by a 10-0 margin. That certainly makes Japan's victory over them look all the more impressive. They'll survive Mexico in a great matchup of two very strong teams.
Pick: Japan wins, 3-2
Pennsylvania over Texas
Mo'ne Davis is awesome.
After her historic shutout against the team from Tennessee, Davis reminded everyone of just how nasty a pitcher she is, touching 70 mph on her fastball and expertly switching between her three pitches to keep opposing batters off balance. She has become the talk of America, to the point that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, is even tweeting about her.
That's when you know you've made it.
With Davis justifiably attracting the majority of the headlines, however, what has gone less noticed is that Taney has played excellent defense behind her and can do damage from the plate as well. That combination of a genuine ace and a sturdy group of players who expertly do their jobs will be too much for Texas to overcome.
Pick: Pennsylvania wins, 3-0