The action is getting serious in the 2014 Little League World Series, with early victors battling in winner's bracket games on Sunday.
None of the teams in action during Day 4 were eliminated, as all of the teams in action had won their opening games. But that won't be the case on Monday and beyond, as the field of contenders in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, will soon dwindle by the day.
Let's take a look at all of Sunday's results and take a peek ahead to the Day 5 schedule.
|Little League World Series: Day 4 Results|
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|South Korea||8-5||Puerto Rico|
|Little League World Series: Day 5 Schedule|
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Czech Republic vs. South Dakota||11 a.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Mexico vs. Australia||1 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Texas vs. Washington||3 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico||6 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Illinois vs. Rhode Island||8 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
Note: All of Monday's games are elimination games.
South Korea 8, Puerto Rico 5
It was late, but it was great. South Korea saved its comeback for the final inning, coming from behind in the top of the sixth to pull out an 8-5 win over Puerto Rico to stay unbeaten in Williamsport.
ESPN Stats and Information noted the winners' impressive all-time record there:
After both Puerto Rico and South Korea won convincingly in their openers, it became apparent early on that it wouldn't be a cake walk for either side on Sunday.
The game was tight early on with the two teams tied 1-1, but Puerto Rico blew things open with a four-run lead. South Korea trimmed it to a 5-3 deficit before the sixth, needing a big inning to stay in the winner's bracket.
That's exactly what the Koreans got. They got some runners on base, put together a rally and used timely hits to build a three-run lead they wouldn't relinquish in the bottom of the sixth.
South Korea moves on to play Japan, the lone other Asian-based nation in Williamsport, in the winner's bracket Tuesday after a day off. Puerto Rico won't get such a luxury and could be eliminated if it loses to Venezuela on Monday.
Nevada 13, Illinois 2
Nevada and Illinois both came into Sunday's game nursing hot bats after exploding in their opening games, but only one team could keep that up through six more innings.
It turned out to be Nevada. The West Regional champions continued their offensive onslaught, beating Chicago's Jackie Robinson West squad 13-2 to remain undefeated thus far.
Brad Stone set the tone early. Nevada loaded the bases for him in the first inning, and he cranked out a grand slam to give his side a big early boost. That would turn out to be just one of five homers for Nevada in the game—two of which came off Austin Kryszczuk's bat.
The outcome was crucial between two of the most impressive teams thus far in Williamsport. Nevada improves to 2-0 and could be dangerous, while Illinois is now just one loss away from elimination after such a strong start.
Illinois will try to keep its title hopes alive Monday night against Rhode Island, while Nevada will try to keep up its hot streak Tuesday against Mo'ne Davis and Pennsylvania.
Japan 9, Mexico 5
Japan saved its best for last, mounting a fifth-inning surge to pull away in a tight contest to beat Mexico 9-5 and give the Mexicans their first loss of the tournament.
Batters from both sides had pitchers' numbers early on, but timely fielding kept the scores low throughout the first half of the game. That began to change in the fourth inning.
Juan Garza continued his coming-out party in Williamsport with an early solo shot, but really got things going in the fourth with an RBi single to tie game in fourth inning. Mexico went on to take the lead, 5-4.
Not to be outdone, the Japanese mounted a rally of their own, which proved to be decisive. Shozo Kamata knocked in two runners on a single to put Japan ahead in the fifth, and after adding two more in the inning, Mexico couldn't overcome the deficit.
Japan will face another opponent that mounted a comeback, South Korea, in a winner's bracket affair on Tuesday. Mexico will turn around to play Monday against Australia in an elimination game.
Pennsylvania 7, Texas 6
Late-game heroics have become the norm in Williamsport, so it's only fitting that Sunday's nightcap ended with a thriller. Pennsylvania lost an early lead only to mount a comeback with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, beating Texas on a throwing error to first base, 7-6.
An early RBI from Mo'ne Davis helped Pennsylvania build an early lead, but you always knew the Pearland, Texas, run was coming. And come it did—sporting a 3-2 deficit in the fifth, Texas got two runners on base before Cole Smajstrla smashed a three-run homer to give his team a 5-3 lead.
Before the top half of the inning was over, Layne Roblyer—who homered earlier in the contest—hit home another runner to make it 6-3.
Pennsylvania looked to mount a surge of its own in the bottom half of the fifth, putting two more runs on the board before Texas pitchers shut the door. Davis and company were one out away from defeat late before a late RBI and the fateful throwing error sealed the walk-off win for Pennsylvania.
After the inspiring victory, Pennsylvania will go into Tuesday's winner's bracket game against Nevada and will need all of the momentum it can muster against the hottest team in Williamsport. Meanwhile, Texas will hope to keep its tournament alive against Washington on Monday after the heartbreaking defeat.
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