Grant Holman throws no-hitter in Little League World Series
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Little League rules impose a limit of 85 pitches, a number that can make it tough to throw a no-hitter. Grant Holman of Chula Vista, Calif., didn't have any problems Friday.
Holman struck out 13 and became the first player to toss a no-hitter in the Little League World Series since the rule was put in place in 2007, leading Chula Vista into the second round with a 3-0 victory over Grosse Pointe, Mich.
With his seven innings of work, Holman also became the first pitcher since 1979 to throw an extra-inning no-hitter in the LLWS.
Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 166 pounds, the 13-year-old Holman outdueled Grosse Pointe's Chad Lorkowski - another stout young pitcher at 6-3 and 219 pounds. The 12-year-old Lorkowski struck out 12 in six innings but exhausted his 85-pitch allotment. He walked two batters and hit another.
Grosse Pointe manager Tom Mazzola praised both pitchers.
"That kid throws hard," Mazzola said about Holman. "He's 6-foot-4, he has a nice curveball and he hits his spots. We haven't quite faced a pitcher like that, but the same goes for our big fella. Chad for his size and weight is remarkable."
Each pitcher was clocked throwing fastballs in the low-to-mid 70s.
"He was going out there. He was dealing," Chula Vista coach Rick Tibbett said about Lorkowski. "And we knew they had to bring someone else in and we knew we were going to hit him."
Chula Vista ended a scoreless tie against Grosse Pointe reliever Antonio Moceri with three runs in the top of the seventh. Micah Pietila-Wiggs drove in the third run with the fourth hit of the inning and his second hit of the game.
Holman narrowly missed a perfect game with only one walk and got some help from his defense to enter the seventh with eight pitches to spare before he reached the limit.
Holman said one of his teammates "accidentally" said something about his no-hit bid in the dugout.
"And I walked the next batter," the pitcher said with a laugh.
On Sunday, Chula Vista will face Newark, Del., which beat Urbandale, Iowa, 6-3. Grosse Pointe will take on Urbandale on Saturday in the loser's bracket.
In the international bracket, Tokyo beat Brno, Czech Republic, 7-3, and Taoyuan, Taiwan, routed Ottawa, Ontario, 10-2. Taiwan and Japan will face each other Sunday, while the Canadians will take on the Czechs on Saturday.
Joseph Davis allowed one hit in 4 2-3 innings and Newark held on to win after scoring five times in the first inning.
The Mid-Atlantic champions had six hits in the first, including for straight by Nathan Hardcastle, Davis, Eric Ludman and Jack Hardcastle. Jared Owens added a two-run single and Ryan Miller followed with a run-scoring triple.
Brady Roberts and Sam Petrillo had Iowa's only two hits. Roberts drove in Brock Heinen in the first. Iowa scored its other runs on a passed ball in the second and a wild pitch in the seventh.
Davis and Nathan Hardcastle, who pitched 1 1-3 innings in relief, each had two hits for Newark.
Kazuki Ishida hit a two-run homer and Kyousuke Kobayashi drove in a pair of runs with a double to lead Tokyo.
Shou Miyao singled home a run in the first and Kobayashi added his double later in the inning. The Japanese champions made it 6-0 in the second on Ishida's homer and an RBI double by Shunpei Takagi.
Six pitchers combined on a two-hitter for Japan in the first LLWS game for a team from the Czech Republic.
The Czechs broke through in the third on Daniel Stoudek's two-run homer. The Europe and Africa champions cut it to 6-3 in the top of the fifth on a pair of errors by Japan before Ryusei Hirooka's RBI single in the bottom half provided the final margin.
Chou Shih-Che, Lan Huai-Chien and Yeh Tung-Jua homered to lead Taiwan.
Chou had a three-run shot in the first inning, Lan added a two-run homer in the second to make it 5-0 and Yeh had a two-run homer in the fourth.
Yeh allowed just one hit in three innings - retiring the first eight hitters of the game - to get the win. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter.
Angus Adams homered in the fourth for the Canadians.
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