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No Mo'ne on mound, Philly loses to Chicago in LLWS

Illinois Eliminates Pennsylvania


SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Joshua Houston had a clutch two-run single, reliever Cameron Bufford pitched a tense scoreless sixth inning, and Chicago held off gritty Philadelphia 6-5 on Thursday night in a matchup of inner-city teams at the Little League World Series.

The loss eliminated Philadelphia and prevented star pitcher Mo'ne Davis from getting one last shot to put another stamp on what had become her personal playground.

Chicago's Jackie Robinson West, comprised of all back players, is making its first appearance in 31 years in the Little League World Series. The victory sends the Great Lakes champs into the U.S. title game on Saturday against Las Vegas.

Las Vegas, the West champions, beat Philly 8-1 on Wednesday and humbled Chicago 13-2 in four innings in a mercy-rule game last Sunday behind five homers, including a grand slam by Brad Stone and two home runs from Austin Kryszczuk.

Davis, just the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series and the only one to win a game on the mound, played first base the first two innings against Chicago before re-entering the game at third base in the bottom of the fifth. She had become the darling of the sports world with her amazing success and poise.

Bufford walked Scott Bandura to lead off the top of the sixth, putting the tying run at first. He then struck out Jahli Hendricks, induced Jared Sprague-Lott to hit into a fielder's choice and walked dangerous Zion Spearman before getting Jack Rice on a fly to right to end it.

Philly trailed 6-2 after two innings but clawed back within a run on Tai Cummings' long home run to center leading off the fifth.

The grassy hill beyond the outfield fences at Howard J. Lamade Stadium was jammed Wednesday night with 34,128 fans who craned their necks to see every pitch from Davis. With the star right-hander playing the field and not eligible to pitch until Saturday, attendance dipped to 21,119 against Chicago.

The 5-foot-4 Davis and her teammates gave the Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League in Philadelphia an amazing dose of publicity.

In her first outing, Davis pitched a two-hit shutout to become the first girl to win a game in the Little League World Series. In splitting her two starts, Davis pitched 8 1-3 innings, allowed eight hits and three earned runs, and struck out 14 with only one walk. She also threw a three-hit shutout to lead Taney to an 8-0 victory over Delaware in the Mid-Atlantic Regional championship game.

Small wonder that during batting practice Wednesday night on the West Coast the Los Angeles Dodgers streamed the Little League telecast on two giant video boards.

The glare of the spotlight on Davis and her teammates had grown exponentially as the Little League World Series unfolded. Television ratings were up 143 percent Wednesday night from the corresponding game last year and this week she became the first Little Leaguer to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Baseball is trying to lure young African-Americans back to the game, and the opponents Thursday night offered more evidence the strategy is making inroads.

That one inner-city team had to beat another for a spot in the U.S. title game was not lost on Major League Baseball Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred.

"With respect to baseball games, we try to take a position of neutrality," Manfred said at Lamade Stadium. "I have to tell you a Philadelphia-Chicago matchup is pretty darn good. It's so wonderful when people turn on their televisions and they see people from very different socio-economic backgrounds in a setting like this. When you have a diverse group like the Philadelphia group, it sends a message that baseball's a wide-open sport."

When the two teams finally do return home, they likely will be overwhelmed a little bit more.

"We've always had the goal of baseball in the inner cities, how to get more African-Americans to play baseball," said Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, who hung out with the Philly kids and other teams earlier in the day during an appearance for sponsor Subway. "I think it shows it's working. I don't think they understand the magnitude of what they've accomplished.

"I think they have a grasp of it, but I don't think they'll really understand it until they get back."

Join the discussion

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Hi Nancy August 22 2014 at 12:05 AM

Whats all this racism BS Their all great kids playing their hearts out and having the time of their lives.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
j.e. mackey sr. August 21 2014 at 11:45 PM

good game for both teams.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
jinglespot August 22 2014 at 12:18 AM

She's a girl from the inner city. Not many girls play and less pitch. Chicago is inner city too. They are trying to point out that not all bad things come from the inner city. That teams other than rich suburban kids can be sucessful and that they are trying to get more kids involved in baseball, especially from the inner city and black. These teams show that girls can play little league and that baseball is a sport that everyone can play. Pointing out rarities is not being racist

Flag Reply +12 rate up
5 replies
DOUG August 22 2014 at 12:28 AM

No worries folks. She has a great arm and talent. We'll be seeing more of this young lady in the future. Kudo's to her and her team...

Flag Reply +11 rate up
3 replies
estimatorone August 21 2014 at 11:50 PM

I think that the hype was because she was a girl that happened to make it this far in the LL World series. She was as good, and sometimes, as bad as any pitcher that has advanced that far into the series. The point is that this team, and others, are part of a very unique experience that I hope continues for many years to come. It is a once in a lifetime event for these young people.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
robertsutten August 22 2014 at 12:10 AM

She's not the greatest player. But she is a damn good one. But calling Chicago an all black team is as racist as it gets. Shame on the news media.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
8 replies
Practical Nomad August 22 2014 at 12:35 AM

Amazing speed and accuracy for such a young and tiny girl.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
Erik Baran Practical Nomad August 22 2014 at 2:14 AM

Tiny? She's 5'4", an above average height for a 12 year old girl. And, at this age, girls, on average, are taller than boys.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
Frank Erik Baran August 22 2014 at 8:16 AM

Last I heard, 5'4" was small. Has nothing to do with age or gender.

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Hi Art & Nan August 22 2014 at 12:10 AM

What I don't understand is why she wasn't allowed to pitch the game.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
13 replies
Karen August 22 2014 at 12:18 AM

Seems some of the posters have a bit of a jealousy problem with Mo'ne -- chill, she's a kid who is having a terrific year. Or are you upset that she is playing on what have traditionally been all-boy teams. Times they are a-changing, trolls.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
3 replies
eventpeople4u August 22 2014 at 3:15 AM

To all of the young people who played and are still playing in the LLWS please ignore all of the rude and racist and negative comments you are all winners.....just remember the people who are posting negative comments have too much time on their hands...................

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
jrboy72 eventpeople4u August 22 2014 at 9:38 AM

I agree.

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