SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT – Dallan Cave and Brennan Holligan hit two-run homers, lefty reliever Austin Kryszczuk got out of two big jams, and Las Vegas beat Philadelphia and star pitcher Mo’ne Davis 8-1 in the Little League World Series on Wednesday night.
That puts Las Vegas in Saturday’s U.S. title game and sends Philadelphia into an elimination game on Thursday night against Chicago’s Jackie Robinson team. The Great Lakes champion beat Pearland, Texas 6-1 on Tuesday night in an elimination game.
Davis, the darling of the sports world with her amazing success and poise, was both masterful and ordinary on a night made short because of pitch-count rules. She allowed three runs and six hits and struck out six in 2 1/3 innings before leaving after 55 pitches. That makes her eligible to pitch again in the U.S. championship game on Saturday.
Davis played first after her stint on the mound and was switched to right field in the top of the sixth.
The grassy hill beyond the outfield fences at Howard J. Lamade Stadium was jammed with so many cheering fans in lawn chairs that it looked like the bleacher section at any ballpark as 34,128 fans craned to see every pitch.
The 5-foot-4 Davis, who has given the Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League in Philadelphia notoriety no one could have imagined, tries to use the first two innings to get to know the home plate umpire’s strike zone, and the first time through the order gauges where the opposing players don’t like the ball.
South Korea 4, Japan 2: Jae Yeong Hwang came through when his team needed him on Wednesday.
Hwang’s go-ahead solo homer in the sixth led South Korea past Japan 4-2 in the Little League World Series.
South Korea advanced to the International Championship game.
Japan will face Mexico on Thursday to determine South Korea’s opponent on Saturday.
“For a long time, we have been educated that when we play Japan, it will be a big rivalry,” Hwang said.
Entering the sixth inning, South Korea and Japan were tied at 2-2. Both teams scored twice in the third inning.
Hwang took relief pitcher Suguru Kanamori’s 1-2 pitch deep to right field, breaking the tie and giving South Korea a 3-2 lead.
“I knew right away that I just did it,” Hwang said regarding his go-ahead homer.
Three batters later, Dong Wan Sin took Kanamori’s pitch to center for an RBI double to score Dong Hwan Ahn.
Early on, both teams scored on each other’s ace pitchers.
Japan’s Takuma Takahashi entered the game as one of the top pitchers in the Little League World Series. In his first start, he struck out 14 batters in Japan’s victory over Venezuela.
“The starting pitcher was excellent,” South Korea manager Jong Wook Park said. “He was better than we expected.”
In the second inning, South Korea’s starting pitcher, Hae Chan Choi took Takahashi deep to right to give South Korea a two-run lead.
Japan responded in the bottom half of the inning as Shingo Tomita drove in an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Arata Nishikawa followed, scoring on a wild pitch by Choi to tie the game.