Little League World Series 2018: Thursday Scores, Bracket Results and Highlights

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 16, 2018

The Japan Region Champion Little League team from Kawaguchi, Japan rides in the Little League Grand Slam Parade in downtown Williamsport, Pa.,Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar).
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Thursday marks the beginning of the 2018 Little League World Series, as half of the 16-team field begins its quest for history in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The field is divided into two halves, with the eight qualifying teams from the United States on one side and eight international qualifiers on the other side. The tournament is a double-elimination format, with the U.S. champion and international champion squaring off on Aug. 26 to determine the winner.

Here's what the official bracket for this year's tournament looks like:

North Carolina Little League Baseball Info @NorthCarolinaLL

LLWS starts Thursday. Here’s the bracket. Peachtree City (GA) is the Southeast representative. https://t.co/kLxweKNVMp


Thursday's Little League World Series Scores

Game 1: South Korea def. Puerto Rico, 4-2 (9 Innings)

Game 2: New York def. Iowa, 5-2

Game 3: Mexico def. Australia, 3-2

Game 4: Texas def. Rhode Island, 3-1


Texas 3, Rhode Island 1

The best pitching performance of the day went to the Texas duo of Carter Pitts and Ryan Selvaggi in a 3-1 win over Rhode Island. 

Pitts and Selvaggi combined to allow two hits, one walk and one unearned run in six innings. Selvaggi recorded five outs to end the game, with three of them coming via strikeout. 

With Texas' pitching doing an outstanding job of containing a Rhode Island lineup that averaged six runs in five games during regionals, the offense did just enough to secure the win. Selvaggi scored the go-ahead run in the third inning on a wild pitch. 

Andy Guy provided Texas with an insurance run on an RBI single in the top of the sixth. Justin Michaels tallied half of Texas' hits in the win by going 3-for-3 with a double and one run scored. 

Texas will play New York in the winner's bracket Sunday. Rhode Island returns to the diamond Saturday looking to keep its title hopes alive against Iowa. 

Mexico 3, Australia 2

Down to its final out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Mexico walked off a 3-2 winner against Australia thanks to three consecutive hits. 

Australia got a brilliant start from Oscar Hyde, who gave up one unearned run on three hits with 11 strikeouts in 5.2 innings. He was removed after getting Alberto Gomez to pop up for the second out of the fifth inning due to the pitch-count rule. 

Gael Ponce didn't exactly struggle on the mound for Mexico. He settled down after Hyde took him deep for a two-run homer in the first inning to strike out 12 in 4.1 innings. Gomez was even better in relief of Ponce, allowing just one walk with five of his seven outs recorded via strikeout. 

Fernando Lopez and Issak Arias got Mexico's rally started with a double and a single. Angel Martinez stepped up to the plate and delivered the walk-off single that scored Lopez and Arias. 

The loss puts Australia in a must-win game against Puerto Rico on Saturday. Mexico advances to the winner's bracket where it will take on South Korea on Sunday. 

New York 5, Iowa 2

New York scored four runs over the final three innings to start its run in the Little League World Series with a 5-2 win over Iowa.

After New York starting pitcher Steven Martinez allowed two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings, relievers Gregory Bruno and Derek Mendez were virtually unhittable. The duo combined to allow one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts over the final 3.2 innings.

Iowa was able to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the third on Blake Larson's RBI double and Alex Stewart's walk with the bases loaded.

New York went on top for good in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run error by Iowa. Mendez capped off the scoring in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double.

It was just two years ago that a New York team won the Little League World Series when Maine-Endwell defeated South Korea in the championship game. Mid-Island has a lot of work ahead to reach the top of the mountain, but this was an excellent start for the squad.


South Korea 4, Puerto Rico 2 (9 Innings)

The South Korean team rallied from a two-run deficit by scoring four unanswered runs to stun Puerto Rico, 4-2, in extra innings.

Puerto Rico took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Eric Rodriguez and Luis D. Rivera.

Rodriguez was also Puerto Rico's starting pitcher and did a fantastic job shutting down the South Korea lineup. He tossed 5.1 no-hit innings with eight strikeouts and three walks before being removed because of pitch-count rules.

After Rodriguez left the game, four straight South Korean batters reached base to tie the score at two.

Things remained even until the top of the ninth when Ji Hyung Choi was credited with the go-ahead RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Gi Jeong Kim added an insurance run with a single on the next pitch.

South Korea's pitching trio of Choi, Yeong Hyeon Kim and Jun Woo Lim combined for 20 strikeouts and four hits allowed in the win.

The win gives South Korea an additional day of rest before returning to the field on Sunday. Puerto Rico will attempt to keep its run in Williamsport going on Saturday.