Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date/Time: Day, August 18, 3:00pm ET
In Saturday's afternoon game New England champion Fairfield, Conn., and the Midwest champion Kearney, Neb., faced off in an elimination game. Each team brought their “A” game, but New England clearly stood out and claimed a 12-0 win over the Midwest at Lamade Stadium at the Little League World Series.
In the third inning, a walk for New England's Will Lucas sent Henry Prestegaard home. Kevin Oricoli followed with a 2-RBI double, giving New England the early lead, 3-0.
Midwest, while not putting runs on the board, had a good pitcher in Matt Masker.
“He made me look really bad at first, we’re just not used to pitchers who change speed that well,” said Oricoli.
New England furthered its lead with back-to-back RBI doubles in the fourth inning by Chris Meyers and Patrick Steed. Biagio Paoletta increased New England's lead with a 2-RBI triple and Will Lucas followed it up with a 2-run home run, to put Midwest in a huge hole, 9-0.
“I was just trying to help my team,” said Lucas. “I just wanted to make it better than two walks.”
In the fifth inning New England moved even further ahead of the Midwest with another big hit by Paoletta, an RBI double, followed by a 2-RBI double by Lucas.
New England's offensive surge helped it score 12 runs and enforce the 10-run mercy rule, ending the game in five innings.
As for Monday’s possible challengers for this shining New England team?
“Both are great teams so we’re just going to have to go out there and play our game,” said Lucas.
New England awaits the loser of Sunday's Southwest/Great Lakes game in the losers' bracket.
“It will be our biggest test yet,” added New England coach Bill Meury.
The Midwest plays Europe champion Ramstein, Germany on Monday at noon at Lamade Stadium in the first consolation game of the Little League World Series.