Day 5 of the Little League World Series brought a full slate of drama, as three of the five contests were decided by one or two runs. Will Day 6 bring as much tension as the August 24 championship draws nearer?
Here is a closer look at the Day 5 results and Day 6 schedule and broadcast information before we dig into some predictions. For reference, a full slate and bracket are available here, courtesy of the event’s website.
|Team 1||Result||Team 2|
|Tuesday, August 19||12 p.m.||Canada vs. Tennessee||ESPN|
|Tuesday, August 19||3 p.m.||Venezuela vs. Mexico||ESPN|
|Tuesday, August 19||7:30 p.m.||Illinois vs. Texas||ESPN|
Canada vs. Tennessee
Both Canada and Tennessee have had a rough go of things thus far in the Little League World Series. Canada lost to Mexico 4-3 and Venezuela 10-0, while Tennessee lost to Mo’ne Davis and Pennsylvania 4-0 and Rhode Island 8-7.
However, Tennessee has been much better than its 0-2 record indicates. The team simply ran into an unstoppable buzzsaw in Davis and lost an absolute gut-wrencher to Rhode Island. Blake Money was very effective on the mound in that first game, and if it wasn’t for an early three-run homer he allowed, it would have been a pitcher’s duel with Davis.
Money may have a great name, but it’s not as head-turning as his brother’s, as SportsCenter noted:
The thought here is Tennessee finally gets a much-deserved win. Money will come through at the plate and lead his team to victory.
Prediction: Tennessee 7, Canada 2
Venezuela vs. Mexico
Venezuela lost its first game to Japan 1-0 but bounced back by destroying Canada 10-0 and then winning in dramatic fashion over Puerto Rico 2-1.
Mexico won its opener over Canada 4-3, lost to Japan 9-5 and then beat Australia 6-2. That means this game has all the pressure that comes with a do-or-die scenario, so look for the emotions to be running high throughout.
The difference here will be the quiet but effective Venezuela pitching staff. While Davis has gotten all the love as far as pitchers are concerned, Venezuela has only allowed two runs as an entire pitching staff in three games, but it just so happened that it didn’t score at all in the loss.
The thought here is that Venezuela continues its excellence from the mound that we have seen throughout the tournament and picks up a critical win.
Prediction: Venezuela 3, Mexico 1
Texas vs. Illinois
Texas won its opener over Rhode Island 7-4, lost in heartbreaking fashion to Pennsylvania in the last inning 7-6 and then impressively bounced back with an 11-4 victory over Washington.
Illinois won its opener 12-2 with a dominant display against Washington, ran into an offensive machine in Nevada and lost 13-2, and then won a nail-biter over Rhode Island 8-7.
After that loss, Illinois coach Darold Butler had an commendable attitude, via CBS Chicago: “Life is up and down, just like baseball. You are not going to win them all and they understand that. But at the same time, you gotta put them cleats back on and go do it again.”
The storyline to watch in this one is the fact that Texas will be playing its third game in three days. Fatigue and a lack of available pitchers will be a problem for Texas against a dangerous offensive team in Illinois that is led by Pierce Jones, who has four home runs so far in the tournament.
Illinois will jump on that opportunity early and ride that initial surge to victory.
Prediction: Illinois 10, Texas 4
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