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Little League World Series 2013: Previewing the Best Matchups of Opening Round

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2013

SOUTH WILLAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 26: Members of team Japan take a victory lap in the outfield after defeating the Southeast team from Goodlettsville, Tennessee 12-2 to win the Little League World Series on August 26, 2012 in South Willamsport, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

A total of 16 teams will swarm on South Williamsport, Pa., on Aug. 15 for one of the world's best annual sporting events. 

Eight teams from the United States and eight from an international pool will compete in the 2013 edition of the Little League World Series. 

Japan has dominated the World Series the past few years, bringing in its eighth championship last year and marking the second time in three years the country has taken home the top prize. 

Regional tournaments in early August determined the 16 teams, which have now been divvied up into first-round brackets as the double-elimination tournament is set to kick off:

The first round is chock full of intriguing matchups. Here are the ones you cannot afford to miss. 

Note: Schedule, roster and other pertinent info obtained from littleleague.org


Game No. 6: West (Eastlake LL - Chula Vista, Calif.) vs. Great Lakes (Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores LL - Grosse Pointe, Mich.)

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Any game featuring a kid who has a nickname as cool as "Swag Daddy" automatically qualifies as must-see television. 

Well, it helps that his team, Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores, is really good to boot. 

The 6'2", 200-pound 12-year-old, also known by his real name, Chad Lorkowski, is primarily responsible for his team's success to date. His dominant run so far includes an impressive two-home run, 10-strike-out performance in the Great Lakes Region Championship game to propel his team to this point. 

The opposition for Lorkowski and Co. comes from the West in the form of Eastlake, a team riding a bit of a hot streak. To get to the World Series, Eastlake won five of six contests, outscoring the competition 66-7. 

It's a heck of matchup to watch. As the statistics point out, Eastlake touts some superb pitching, which could help to shut down the dangerous Swag Daddy himself. That, or Swag Daddy will pitch a gem of his own in a defensive battle. 

Game No. 7: Japan (Musashi Fuchu LL - Tokyo, Japan) vs. Europe-Africa (South Moravia LL - Brno, Czech Republic)

Little league baseball is a beautiful thing because it serves as a reminder to how special the game truly is without the money, fame and other things that come with sports at the professional level. 

Nothing has been more special than the run Japan has been on in the last few years of the tournament. 

2013 marks the third time we'll see Musashi Fuchu in the tournament since 2000. After torching the opposition through four qualifying games at a composite score of 36-15, Japan is once again a favorite for many in its opening matchup. 

However, don't sleep on the Czech Republic in its first ever appearance in the Little League World Series. 

South Moravia went undefeated in July through eight contests as well, tallying a total score of 93-21. 

If you could not tell by the numbers, an epic showdown is about to occur in the opening round of the Little League World Series. South Williamsport better be ready. 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling

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