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Little League World Series 2018: Saturday Schedule, TV Info, Bracket Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 18, 2018

Canada's Cole Balkovec delivers a pitch against Panama during the fifth inning of an International pool play baseball game at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)
Tom E. Puskar/Associated Press

The dream of winning the Little League World Series will come to an end for four teams Saturday.

All four games in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, feature losing sides from the opening two days of play, and by the end of the day, a quartet of two-loss teams will be eliminated from championship contention.

Saturday's victorious teams advance to the next round of the losers' bracket and face an uphill climb to earn a spot in the title game, but their championship dreams will still be alive.

Puerto Rico and Canada open the four-game slate, and Georgia and Idaho both try to recover from heartbreaking losses in the nightcap.

                 

Little League World Series Saturday Schedule

Caribbean (Puerto Rico) vs. Australia (1 p.m., ESPN) 

Midwest (Iowa) vs. New England (Rhode Island) (3 p.m., ABC) 

Europe-Africa (Spain) vs. Canada (6 p.m., ESPN) 

Northwest (Idaho) vs. Southeast (Georgia) (8 p.m. ESPN) 

All Times ET. All games can be live-streamed on the ESPN app  or WatchESPN

          

Bracket Predictions

International 

With the traditional powers of the international bracket sitting at 1-0, it's going to be difficult for any of the teams playing Saturday to work their way back into the mix.

The first game of two on the international side should be the more competitive contest, as Puerto Rico and Australia lost by a combined three runs Thursday.

Australia's pitchers impressed against Mexico, totaling 11 strikeouts in the 3-2 defeat, which ended on a walk-off single.

The Aussies will look to Oscar Hyde to pack more power at the plate, as he produced their two runs on a home run in the first inning Thursday.

Tom E. Puskar/Associated Press

Puerto Rico pushed perennial power South Korea to nine innings in its 4-2 defeat Thursday, a game in which the team's pitching was used more than expected in a World Series opener.

Spain is the Cinderella story of the international bracket, as it rarely represents the Europe-Africa region. It was unfortunately the only team to lose by way of the 10-run rule in the opening set of games.

Canada will be seen as the favorite to advance out of the late game in the international bracket despite facing a quick turnaround after an 8-3 loss to Panama.

Predictions: Puerto Rico over Australia, and Canada over Spain.

                           

United States 

Rhode Island is hoping to receive a similar performance on the mound from its Saturday starter that it got out of Tommy Turner on Thursday, as he kept Texas off balance during 4.2 innings of work.

Both Iowa and Rhode Island will try to ignite their bats after combining for three runs in their defeats Thursday.

Blake Larson could be the key to get things started for Iowa; he had two hits in the 5-2 loss at the hands of New York.

Georgia and Idaho face the difficult task of returning to the diamond one day after losing in walk-off fashion.

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The former's loss was tough to take. Georgia played hard for 11 innings against Hawaii before conceding a walk-off two-run homer in the fifth extra frame.

Bouncing back right away from a defeat like that is tough for even the best major league teams, but if Georgia can rally, it could earn a potential second shot at Hawaii.

Idaho's offense was sparked by Caden Symons and Avery Curry, who both drove in runs during a three-run second inning against Michigan.

However, Idaho suffered the same fate as Georgia, as it fell on a walk-off in the sixth inning. But even though it lost in heartbreaking fashion, the Northwest representative enters with a fresher pitching staff.

Predictions: Rhode Island over Iowa, and Idaho over Georgia.

         

Statistics obtained from littleleague.orgFollow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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