Little League World Series 2011: Ocean View's Hagen Danner Will Dominate
Hagen Danner has the arm to be the poster boy for the 2011 Little League World Series. The right hander for the Ocean View Little League All-Stars from Huntington Beach has the stuff to shut down everyone he faces.
Ocean View advanced to the Little League World Series with a 2-1 victory over Red Bluff from Northern California in the West Region Tournament championship game in San Bernardino.
It was the right arm of Danner that paved the way in this one. Hagen was amazingly efficient pitching a three hitter. He threw 79 pitches and 64 of them were strikes. He did not walk a single batter.
He also got better as the game wore on. Danner retired the final 18 batters he faced.
That is not to say Danner is a one man team. Ocean View has an has an 18-1 record and they have now won 12 consecutive games. That streak is not likely to stop at 12.
We all know a pitcher can't win if his team doesn't score runs. Ocean View has some solid sticks in the lineup.
And they needed them to advance. Red Bluff's starting pitcher, Wesley Clawson was matching Hagen, almost pitch for pitch, as he had also allowed only three hits through his first five innings of work.
Then this game moved to the sixth and final inning.
That is when Steven Kotkosky had a moment of many a kid's dreams. Kotkosky belted a two-run homer off of freshly inserted reliever Lane Pritchard.
Pritchard was called into action after Nick Pratto tripled to lead off the inning. Then Kotkosky provided all the offense Ocean View needed.
Ocean View will begin Little League World Series play Friday in South Williamsport, Pa. against the all-stars from the Cumberland American Little League. The game will be played in Cumberland, R.I. as part of the New England Region champion.
And if you're watching TV when Danner is on the hill, tune-in. He is worth the price of the free admission.
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