Canada 7-Venezuela 3

Upset! A 1st inning 3 run blast from Reid Hefflick got the party started, Nathaniel Factor added another 3 run dinger in the 3rd and Canada held on all game for a stunning 7-3 win, moving them into the International Semi-Final on Wednesday. What a story this team is, as the international side is almost always dominated by Japan-South Korea-Mexico and Latin America, so team Canada advancing all the way to at minimum Thursday is quite a tale. This Canada team has a nice balanced offense and some great defense so they definitely deserve to be here, but an ensuing matchup with the winner of South Korea-Japan is going to be a tall task. At this point though you gotta be cheering for them. Jonney Rosario hit a 2 run homer in the loss for Venezuela.

Texas 6-Connecticut 3

Well, Hunter Ditsworth is no one man show. Colin Ross dominated on the mound (6 IP, 8 K’s), commanding his heater that sat 72-74 and a nasty slider. Behind him Texas played terrific defense, especialy their SS who is a plus plus glove at short. With their deep lineup, stout defense and a 1-2 Ditsworth and Ross (And 3-4 in the lineup) this Lufkin team is the current favorite to win the U.S Side. Ditsworth will be eligible on Wednesday for the US Semi-Final, and Ross would then be ready to go for Saturday’s US Final, so Lufkin is sitting pretty after the first weekend. Lufkin will go as far as their 1-2 punch takes them.

Japan 4-South Korea 1

In the big international showdown Japan topped South Korea 4 to 1 behind excellent pitching Riku Goto he went all 6 in the win. Japan is back with their usual combination of defense, base running and pitching.

North Carolina 16-California 0

Well shit. Chase Anderson and Matthew Matthijs combined for another no hitter, making that 11 innings of no hit baseball for North Carolina so far. Carson Hardee crushed a grand slam and North Carolina never looked back, slaughtering California in 5 innings, 16-0. California looked pretty terrible in the field and at bat, where they never even managed competitive at bats. As I predicted in the the 2017 Little League World Series Preview this California team just doesn’t have the makings of previous West representatives. Expect a short stay for California for the 2nd year in a row, and the now 4th year in a row of West not winning the US. For North Carolina they will head into Wednesday’s showdown with Texas with all their arms available again, so expect to see a mix of Anderson and Matthijs squaring off with Hunter Ditsworth. Wednesday Night looks like its gonna be a great one. California will move on to play New Jersey in an elimination game Monday at 3, and will be without their top 2 arms Bobby Gray and Drew Rutter. Expect to see either Joey Gray or Tommy Woods on the mound. I don’t like their chances of slowing down Chris Cartnick.

Monday Predictions

Great Lakes 11 Italy 4

South Korea 5 Mexico 2

New Jersey 11 California 4

Venezuela 6 Dominican Republic 3

Connecticut 6 Washington 4