Fantastic defense, late home runs help Texas knock out Hollidaysburg in great series game | News, Sports, Jobs

A closer look at Pearland, Texas’ 8-4 win over Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania on Wednesday at Lamade Stadium

GAME OF THE GAME – Corey Kahn saves the day: Texas was leading 4-3 in the third inning when Braden Hatch threw a flyball deep into left field. He was sailing over the fence when Kahn did his best Ken Griffey Jr impression and jumped to rob Hatch of the tying home run. Kahn slammed into the wall, jumped high and landed a catch that will likely be shown on television highlights of the Little League World Series for a long time. Kahn’s hold completely changed the complexion of the game and the momentum translated into offense as Texas took control late and pulled away for the win. Kahn also caught before closing the game on the mound and allowing just two hits through three innings.

TEXAS PLAYER OF THE GAME – Jacob Zurek: Between stellar defense and timely striking, Texas has plenty of stars in this win, but Zurek narrowly takes the honor. He helped set the tone when he smashed a double on the right-hand side wall to open the game and continued from there. Zurek went 3 for 4 with a home run, a double and three runs, all while shining defensively.

PENNSYLVANIA PLAYER OF THE GAME – Caleb Detrick: A force in the middle of Pennsylvania’s roster all season, Detrick has produced well again. He finished 1 for 2 with a double, RBI and a run. He sparked a fifth-inning rally with a brace and also played solid defense.

BIG INNING – Texas fifth and sixth: Yeah, that’s cheating but, really, those two innings have to go together. It was 4-3 after four hours and Pennsylvania continued to threaten, so it was crucial to breathe a little. The offense came alive, producing two runs in each end as Texas went up 6-3 and then 8-4. Texas drove in six of its nine hits over those two innings and Manny Castillo and Kaiden Shelton each underscored with two-run homers.

BEST EFFORT–Texas Defense: Yes, the Southwest champions made a mistake, but their defense was ridiculous Wednesday night. Time and time again Pennsylvania hit balls that looked like hits and time and time again Texas made the plays and turned them into outs. If it hadn’t been for so many big plays, Pennsylvania probably would have taken the lead in the middle of the innings. The defensive spark permeated every facet and Texas took the lead in the final two innings. Fittingly, Texas helped seal the victory with another gem as shortstop Jacob Zurek ran well into left field, jumped up and caught an Aspen Anderson, robbing him of a first single.

HOME RUNS: Zurek missed a first home run to start the game by a few feet. He did not miss a home run his second time. This time, Zurek landed a line drive over the fence into right center field and gave his team a 4-3 lead. Manny Castillo provided big thunder off the bench all summer and did it at the perfect time in the fifth inning. It was still a one-run game when Castillo hit a long two-run homer to right center field. Castillo is 3-for-4 with a homer and a triple in his last four at bats and that clutch homer gave Texas a 6-3 lead. Kaiden Shelton helped Texas land a knockout an inning later when he hit a massive home run on the hill past center field. It was the second straight game in which Shelton hit a big home run and the latter put Texas up, 8-4.

FLASHING LEATHER: It looked like Texas would push their lead to 4-0 in the first inning when Ethan Richardson hit a missile on the third base line. Pennsylvania third baseman Chase Link, however, showed that his glove was just as dangerous as his bat. He made a hard save on the one-hopper before making a solid first pitch and ending the inning. Speaking of coming in huge with runners on base, Austin Cummings made a similar spectacular play across the infield down the second. Beau Rabel hit a rocket on the line that looked like it was going for either a tied game, a two-run double, or a three-run triple. But Cummings made a fantastic backhand save and scored first for the second out, temporarily keeping Texas ahead, 3-2. Cummings flashed the leather again in round two. This time he extended his glove as far as he could go and caught a Nate Phillips understudy heading to the line for the second out of the inning. It was a big out because Chase Link called with a two-out single and reached second base before the team retired. The defensive gems continued in the third inning with Nate Phillips saving a point with a diving hold. The Pennsylvania center outfielder ran, dived and caught a Malachi Clark liner that allegedly charged the bases without out or caused a run. Aspen Anderson struck out the next two batters and Phillips’ catch helped Pennsylvania block two no-out runners. Pennsylvania wide receiver Braden Hatch kept Texas’ fifth-inning rally from growing when he showed his arm. The runners were in the corners, but Hatch snapped a snap to shortstop Ty McGough who applied a quick tag to catch the second-place runner for the final. McGough then went Ozzie Smith in the sixth inning, stretching and somehow stopping a ball from Clark hitting straight down the middle. McGough extended, made the save and scored the base in one motion.

WHAT ADULTS SAY: “To be able to soak that up and understand that they’ve really done a great thing to be able to make the last four teams in the United States and the top eight in the world, it’s amazing,” Pennsylvania manager Jim McGough said. “I think once they go home and really appreciate the accomplishment that they’ve really achieved, it’s going to put a lot of smiles on their faces. It hurts in the moment, which is expected. , but they had an incredible journey.

“Pennsylvania is not going for us, so it was getting loud; it was getting closer, and it was a one-point game at the time, and it really energized our boys, Texas manager Aaron Cummings spoke about Kahn’s incredible hold. “I’m sure I blew some kind of circuit on the microphone because I shouted. It stimulated them because they knew what had happened. No doubt that was a catalyst for the rest of the game. It was huge. It was definitely a turning point. »

WHAT CHILDREN SAY: “I thought it was just a long popup, then I felt the warning track. I was still backing up, and I had my hands up and I hit the wall and my arm came back and I grabbed it. It was like a snow cone, said Kahn. “I didn’t think I caught it at first, then I saw I caught it and I felt it and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I just stole a home run!’ I guarantee you a lot of people were happier than me because I didn’t even process it.

WHAT IT MEANS: For the third time in four Series appearances, Pearland Little League will finish among the top three teams in the country. Texas won its second straight playoff game and earned a spot in Thursday’s losers’ pool final against Tennessee. The winner of this match will face Hawaii for the United States Championship on Saturday afternoon. Hollidaysburg capped a historic and sensational summer race, finishing fourth in the United States. Hollidaysburg was 10-0 in playoff games heading into Wednesday’s loss. A league that didn’t exist eight years ago won the program’s first state and regional championships and captivated its community along the way.

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