One of the most entertaining tournaments each year regardless of the sport is the Little League World Series. With intense competition from around the world, the 2014 edition of the annual event is already living up to the hype.
The international competition is strong this year, but with the United States proudly represented by tough teams like Pennsylvania, local fans are pulling for a huge win for the Americans.
Here is the schedule and television information for the remaining action in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and a championship prediction.
|Tuesday, Aug. 19||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|Canada vs. Tennessee||12 p.m.||ESPN|
|Venezuela vs. Mexico||3 p.m.||ESPN|
|Texas vs. Illinois||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Wednesday, Aug. 20||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|South Korea vs. Japan||3 p.m.||ESPN|
|Nevada vs. Pennsylvania||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Thursday, Aug. 21||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|Winner Game 21 vs. Loser Game 23||3 p.m.||ESPN|
|Winner Game 22 vs. Loser Game 24||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Saturday, Aug. 23||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|International Final: Winner Game 23 vs. Winner Game 25||12:30 p.m.||ABC|
|U.S. Final: Winner Game 24 vs. Winner Game 26||3:30 p.m.||ABC|
|Sunday, Aug. 24||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|Third-Place Game: Loser Game 27 vs. Loser Game 28||10 a.m.||ESPN|
|Championship: Winner Game 27 vs. Winner Game 28||3 p.m.||ABC|
*Live stream for each game available on WatchESPN.
2014 Little League World Series Championship Prediction
There are several teams with a legitimate shot at winning the Little League World Series, but none have the talent and momentum that the Taney Youth Baseball Association from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, possesses.
Even former Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chimed in on the team's success:
How about those Taney Dragons! I see you!— Charlie Manuel (@CMBaseball41) August 18, 2014
The team is full of tenacious players who have worked hard all year to make it this far, but there is one young star sticking out more than the rest. Look out for starting pitcher and all-around talent Mo'ne Davis.
Davis is the best pitcher in the tournament without question. She pitched a shutout in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship and dominated Nashville. In the win, she pitched six innings, gave up two hits and struck out eight batters in another shutout.
According to William C. Rhoden of The New York Times, Davis is the first girl to ever earn a win in the Little League World Series.
Local manager Steve Bandura spoke to Austin Laymance of MLB.com about what makes Davis such a dominant pitcher and the true strength of the entire roster:
She's just one of the players. She's a news story to everyone outside of Philly, but she's very well known in the city in all three sports [baseball, basketball and soccer]. She's just one of the players and that's all she really wants to be. She's extremely intelligent, and throwing 70 mph doesn't hurt.
It's a really, really intelligent group of kids that mentally are way ahead of their opponents. We like to say we play chess while the other teams play checkers.
Davis is without a doubt the most important player on the team and the key to an overall championship, but the offense has backed her in every start. The team lost once in the regional tournament but managed to score at least six runs in each of its five victories.
Led by left fielder Zion Spearman, catcher Scott Bandura and center fielder Tai Shanahan, the Mid-Atlantic representatives are one of the most consistent offensive teams in the tournament and are red-hot right now.
With Davis on the mound and momentum on its side, the Taney team will win the 2014 Little League World Series.
Predicted Winner: Taney Youth Baseball Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
*Stats via LLBWS.org.