Little League World Series 2021: Saturday Scores, Updated Bracket and HighlightsAugust 28, 2021
The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio has been extended to the baseball field, with the two Great Lakes teams set to square off in the 2021 Little League World Series championship.
Michigan and Ohio advanced to the title game with victories in Saturday's semifinal.
Ohio has been living on the edge for most of the tournament with three straight wins in elimination games. South Dakota, led by breakout star Gavin Weir, went undefeated in the Tom Seaver Bracket to reach the semifinal.
Weir, who threw four no-hitters since the regionals with 114 strikeouts in 132 at-bats, won't be eligible to take the mound for the rest of the tournament because of pitch-count rules after throwing 83 pitches in Wednesday's win over California.
The second semifinal was a rematch between Michigan and Hawai'i. The Honolulu Little League squad shutout North Little League 2-0 behind Ryan Keanu's complete game one-hitter on Aug. 25.
2021 Little League World Series Semifinal Results
Ohio def. South Dakota, 5-2
Michigan def. Hawai'i, 2-1
2021 Little League World Series Championship Game
Matchup: Ohio vs. Michigan
Date: Sunday, Aug. 29
Start time: 3 p.m. ET
Michigan 2, Hawai'i 1
Cameron Thorning's two-run homer in the top of the first inning was all the offense Michigan needed in its 2-1 victory over Hawai'i.
Thorning, who went 1-for-2 at the plate, was also the starting pitcher for Michigan. He allowed one run on two hits with seven strikeouts in 3.1 innings on the mound. Jakob Furkas closed out the game with 2.2 hitless innings.
Hawai'i got on the board in the bottom of the third thanks to Kaikea Patoc-Young's RBI single off Thorning.
Patoc-Young and Kekoa Payanal were the only Hawai'i players who recorded a hit in the game. Patoc-Young and Micah Bennett were able to keep their team close after that first inning.
The Hawai'i pitching duo had six strikeouts and allowed just three hits.
Hawai'i did put the tying run on base in the bottom of the sixth when Bennett was hit by a pitch. Eli Iopa struck out to end the game.
Michigan's win gives the state its first appearance in the Little League World Series title game in 62 years. The 1959 team from Hamtramck defeated Auburn, California 12-0 for the championship.
Ohio 5, South Dakota 2
Ohio held off South Dakota 5-2 thanks to Kaleb Harden working out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The West Side Little League squad was in control for most of the game. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning thanks to two errors by South Dakota and back-to-back RBI singles from Krew Brown and Levi Smith.
South Dakota was able to get on the board with one run in the bottom of the third, but the offense was otherwise stagnant until the sixth inning.
Maddox Jones added an extra run for Ohio in the fifth with an RBI single that scored Chance Retherford.
Ohio starting pitcher Cooper Oden cruised through the first five innings. He allowed one run on five hits going into the sixth.
South Dakota started the final inning with three consecutive singles to get within 5-2. Harden came into the game at that point.
After walking the first batter he faced, Harden struck out Hayden Gorsett, got Easton Riley to line out to right field and got Alex McKinney to ground into a fielder's choice to the third baseman for the final out.
This marks the first time in Little League World Series history, dating back to 1947, that a team from Ohio will play for the championship.