The Little League World Series (LLWS) is full of surprises, and Thursday's opening day was definitely indicative of that—but not in the way baseball fans may think.
Only one game of four—Caribbean vs. Australia—was played on the first day of the tournament because of inclement weather. The other three games were postponed and will now be played on Friday alongside the four games already scheduled for the day.
The Caribbean's Pabao Little League kicked off the LLWS with an impressive showing, scoring 11 runs in two innings. Shendrion Martinus pitched a no-hitter, going four innings and striking out one.
Friday will now be a jam-packed day of baseball, with American teams playing their games at Howard J. Lamade Stadium while international games will be held at Volunteer Stadium, both in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The teams will follow an alternating schedule, with the first international games starting an hour after the first United States game.
The tournament will still follow a double-elimination format and should return to the original schedule, weather permitting, on Saturday. The contest between the top international team and top American team is still scheduled to take place August 25.
Here's a look at the revised Friday schedule with updated times and TV information, as well as predictions for Friday's games:
New England vs. Southeast, 10 a.m. ET on ESPN
Asia-Pacific vs. Latin America, 11 a.m. ET on ESPNU
Midwest vs. Great Lakes, 1 p.m. ET on ESPN
Japan vs. Europe-Africa, 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU
Southwest vs. West, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN
Mexico vs. Canada, 5 p.m. ET on ESPNews
Mid-Atlantic vs. Northwest, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
Friday Predictions (winners in bold)
Barrington, Rhode Island vs. South Riding, Virginia
South Chungcheong, South Korea vs. Maracaibo, Venezuela
Coon Rapids, Minnesota vs. Bowling Green, Kentucky
Chofu City, Japan vs. Bologna, Italy
River Ridge, Louisiana vs. Wailuku, Hawaii
Guadalupe, Nuevo León vs. Vancouver, British Columbia
Elizabeth, New Jersey vs. Salem, Oregon
For an analysis of the predicted winners of the games that were postponed to Friday, take a look at our Thursday predictions that have Virginia, South Korea and Kentucky beating their opponents.
The other international teams playing later in the day are Chofu Little League, Emilia Romagna Little League, Epitacio "Mala" Torres Little League and Coquitlam Little League.
Chofu Little League proved to be a difficult opponent to beat in the regional tournament, outscoring its opponents 37-1—with its only run allowed coming in the first game. The team isn't new to the big stage, making an appearance as recently as 2016.
Japan has 11 LLWS titles so far, and Chofu should have no issue advancing to the next round.
While Mexico's team out of Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, didn't outscore opponents like Japan did, the "Mala" Torres team battled in a field of 13 teams to end regional play victorious with a 6-1 record. The team also boasts a deep pitching staff, with four players able to throw over 70mph pitches.
The Southwest is represented by powerhouse team Eastbank Little League, who will be facing off against first-timers Central East Maui Little League.
Eastbank has won five consecutive state titles and went 4-0 in regional play. Conner Perrot leads Louisiana at the plate, knocking seven hits, including two doubles and one homer throughout his four regional tournament games.
The final game of the day features the Elmora Youth Little League team out of New Jersey versus the Sprague Little League team out of Oregon.
While New Jersey blew out New York 19-4 in the Region Final, Oregon escaped with a more harrowing 5-4 victory over Idaho to secure an LLWS berth.
Sprague has a deep bench, with 10 of 13 players notching a hit in the box, led by Cameron Van Kempen and Sullivan Puckett.
Look for Oregon to be riding a wave of adrenaline in its first LLWS game after playing close games to advance through region play, as well as winning its first state championship this past season.
Information courtesy of LLWS