Published Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 | 4:15 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 | 7:05 p.m.
Mountain Ridge Little League frequently has beaten opponents by the 10-run mercy rule in its quest to win the Little League World Series.
On Wednesday, the northwest Las Vegas team showed it could do more than hit home runs. Pitching and defense won this game.
Despite allowing a runner to reach third base in three different innings, Mountain Ridge surrendered just one run against Philadelphia’s Taney Youth Baseball Association in an 8-1 victory to advance to Saturday’s U.S. championship game.
Mountain Ridge had outscored opponents 176-26 this summer in posting a 15-0 record entering today’s game. And in 11 games, including its first two games in Williamsport, Pa., at the World Series, Mountain Ridge won by the mercy rule.
That wasn’t the case against Philadelphia.
Mountain Ridge star Austin Kryszczuk took over on the pitcher’s mound with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth inning. Philadelphia had already scored one run to trim the deficit to 3-1 and appeared primed to take the lead.
But Kryszczuk struck out the first batter he faced. The second batter ripped a line drive to second baseman Zach Hare, who made a nifty catch on his knee and threw to first base for a double play to end the threat.
In the fifth inning, Philadelphia had runners on first and third with no outs, but Kryszczuk buckled down to get out of the inning without allowing a run.
Mountain Ridge’s offense couldn’t be held in check for long.
In the sixth inning, it plated five insurance runs, including a two-run home run from Brennan Holligan for an 8-1 lead. As he rounded third base, Mountain Ridge manager Ashton Cave was heard saying, “It’s about time,” on the ESPN telecast.
Earlier in the inning, Dallan Cave walked and scored on a wild pitch, and Hare followed with a run-scoring double. Kryszczuk followed with an RBI single for a 6-1 lead.
The question entering the game was whether Mountain Ridge’s potent offense would be able to continue its success against Philadelphia girl-pitching sensation Mo’ne Davis. Davis struck out six batters in 2 1/3 innings, but gave up six hits and three runs.
Dallan Cave had a two-run home run in the second inning, and Kryszczuk had an RBI triple.
Mountain Ridge held its early lead thanks to a defensive play in the first inning. Right fielder Alex Barker made an over-the-shoulder catch while falling to the ground near the warning track to end the first inning. Philadelphia had runners at first and third, and likely would have taken a 2-1 lead.
Instead, Mountain Ridge led from start to finish. Again. They’ve only trailed once this summer, with today’s its biggest test.
Most of the roughly 34,000 fans were there to cheer for Davis and her teammates.
Mountain Ridge advances to the U.S. championship game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The U.S. champion plays the international champion at noon Sunday. And, for most of the Mountain Ridge players, school starts Monday. They’ll surely have some stories to share with classmates.Mountain Ridge escapes bases-loaded jam thanks to stellar defense, leads 3-1
Mountain Ridge Little League’s defense is keeping it ahead in this baseball game.
The Las Vegas team leads Philadelphia’s Taney Youth Baseball Association 3-1 after four innings today at the Little League World Series, using two stellar defensive plays to keep the advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth, Mountain Ridge pitcher Austin Kryszczuk inherited a bases-loaded situation before getting out of the inning thanks to some nifty glove work by second baseman Zach Hare.
After Kryszczuk struck out the first batter he faced, Hare snagged a hard-hit line drive and doubled the Philly runner off first base to end the threat. Philly managed one run in the inning, but it could have been worse.
In the first inning, Philly should have also scored. But Mountain Ridge’s Alex Barker made a circus catch in right field with two runners on base to end the inning.
Mountain Ridge strikes again, increases lead to 3-0 at Little League World Series
Dallan Cave’s first hit at the Little League World Series will be one to remember.
Cave was hitless in Mountain Ridge Little League’s initial two games at the event, but broke out of the slump today with a two-run home run in the second inning to give the Nevada team a 3-0 lead against Philadelphia’s Taney Youth Baseball Association.
That wasn’t Mountain Ridge’s only great play early in the game.
Taney had runners on first and third with two outs in the first bottom of the first inning, but right-fielder Alex Barker made an over-the-shoulder diving catch near the warning track to end the inning and prevent runs from scoring. It’s the type of play you’ll see later tonight at SportsCenter’s top 10 plays.
While girl-pitching star Mo'ne Davis has given up three runs, she's also recorded five strikeouts.
Mountain Ridge strikes first at World Series vs. pitching sensation Mo’ne Davis
That was fast.
Mountain Ridge Little League scored first in its Little League World Series game against girl-pitching star Mo'ne Davis when Austin Kryszczuk knocked a run-scoring triple to plate Zach Hare for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Davis, though, quickly settled down to show why she's become the talk of the event. Kryszczuk was on third base with no outs, but Davis struck out the next three batters to end the inning.
They keep winning.
Mountain Ridge Little League is undefeated in 15 games this summer, becoming the first Nevada team to reach the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., and playing like its the best team at the 16-squad event.
Next up: Mountain Ridge today will face Philadelphia’s Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League, and girl pitcher Mo’ne Davis. Davis’ has charisma and competitiveness, and 70 mph fastball, in becoming the story of the event.
Mountain Ridge is hoping to steal some of the attention.
The northwest Las Vegas team has outscored opponents 176-26 this summer and is 2-0 in the World Series, winning both games by the 10-run mercy rule.
But what happens when it faces a pitcher such as Davis who has been equally dominant? We’ll shortly find out.
I’ll keep everyone posted as the game progresses. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #MoutainRidge on Twitter.