Little League World Series

Game 18: Northwest 9 vs. New England 5

How 'Bout Them Apples?

Middle-of-the-lineup trio powers Washington past Connecticut 9-5 in Pool B elimination game

Author: Mark Price

Source: South Williamsport, Pa.

Date/Time: Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 8:00pm ET

The Jackson 5 said it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. For Auburn, Wash., on Tuesday night at the Little League World Series, it was as easy as 3, 4, 5.

Washington's 3-4-5 hitters—Isaiah Hatch, Dillon O'Grady, and Casey Manning—went a combined 11-for-12 with two doubles, two homers and eight RBI. That was all the All-Stars from Auburn, Wash., would need to defeat Fairfield, Conn., 9-5 in a Pool B elimination game Tuesday at Howard J. Lamade Stadium. Washington (2-1) takes on the undefeated Southwest region champs from Pearland, Texas Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Lamade Stadium.

"[They were] extremely good hitters," said New England Manager Chris Daley. "The bats won tonight."

Hatch, O'Grady, and Manning each singled with two outs in the top of the first to give Washington the early 2-0 lead.

They would strike again in the top of the third, when Hatch and Manning both doubled as part of a twp-run rally to push the Washington lead to 4-0.

Nick Nardone retaliated for Connecticut, sending a Hudson Byorick offering well up the left-center field berm to put the score back to 4-3.

Washington's triumvirate would respond in the top of the fifth, as Manning hit a two-run blast to give Washington a 6-3 lead.

The New England region champs scored twice in the bottom of the fifth, but Washington pushed the game out of reach with three runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by Hatch's two-run homer to center. That put the score at 9-5, where it would stand until the game ended.

Hatch made a name for himself defensively as well, starting three double plays from shortstop and striking out three of five batters he faced in 1 1/3 innings on the mound.

"That's by far my best game," Hatch said.

The New England representatives are officially out of championship contention.

"I'm very proud of them," said Daley. "It was just a great summer and a magical season."

"It was the experience of a lifetime for [the coaches] and the kids," he added. "Obviously [we're] a little disappointed now…but I think looking back on it tomorrow morning, it's going to be all smiles."

Washington moves on to face a Texas squad that has scored 24 runs in two games at the World Series and has a full stable of arms waiting for Thursday's showdown. The Washington squad knows what they are up against but is up for the challenge.

"They're a tough team defensively and offensively," said Northwest Manager Kai Nahaku. "But that's the way it should be here."