The Taney Dragons fought hard but they ran into a Las Vegas juggernaut with a gaggle of hot bats and a shutdown reliever. Philly fell by the final of 8-1 on Wednesday night in Williamsport, PA.
Mo'ne Davis dazzled at times, striking out three batters in the first inning alone, but Vegas got good wood metal on the ball when they were able to connect. And even when they didn't, a couple of bloop hits came back to hurt. In a legitimately stacked Vegas lineup, it was eight-hole hitter Dallan Cave who took Mo'ne yard to put the West up 3-0.
Mo'ne's final line on the evening was 2.1 IP, 3 earned runs on 6 hits while striking out 6 and walking 1. She wasn't pulled from the game because she was struggling, but rather so Taney could play the pitch-count game and bring her back to pitch this weekend if the Dragons can defeat Chicago tomorrow to keep the dream alive.
Erik "Lippy" Lipson relieved Mo'ne and pitched well enough to keep the game close. The "Squintz" look-a-like is a personal favorite of mine. That kid is just loving it out there.
On the offensive side of things, the Dragons threatened early in the first but a wildly impressive grab by Vegas right fielder Alex Barker had Philly fans shaking their heads and tipping their caps. Kid made a sick play and Taney was left scoreless.
GIF: Nevada right fielder Alex Barker makes a great diving catch to end the inning http://t.co/iU1pqNrMDB— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) August 21, 2014
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Philly fought back and had their best opportunity of the evening. It was incredibly tense and exciting when they loaded the bases only to have Vegas bring in the kid who looked like he could play for the Phillies tomorrow. Austin Kryszczuk was throwing gas and struck out my boy Lippy and then induced a line-drive double play to squash the threat.
Las Vegas tacked on a quick bunch of runs in the sixth to make the lead insurmountable.
No breaks for the Dragons tonight. No help from the home plate ump either.
We've already written too much about a Little League baseball game. The real story should be that the entire city of Philadelphia supported a couple of kids from our neighborhoods and they fought hard and didn't think for a second about giving up. We're proud of those kids.
And they also inspired little girls to make signs like this:
Great signs - "Show Me The Mo'Ne" and "I Want To Throw Like A Girl" pic.twitter.com/ED6PWLEdn8— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) August 21, 2014
Countless little girls across the country probably now want to throw like a girl after watching Mo'ne on ESPN tonight. That's pretty awesome.
And no tears just yet, Philly. Taney's run isn't over yet. The kids from Philly will be back at it tomorrow fighting to keep their Little League World Series alive against Jackie Robinson West out of Chicago.