SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Lafayette’s hope of coming back through the losers bracket to win the Little League World Series is over.
The all-stars from nearby Clinton County, Pa., showed no mercy Monday night handing Lafayette a 10-0 deafeat.
Louisiana was unable to get a hit off two Pennsylvania pitchers in a game shorted to 3-1/2 innings by the Little League World Series 10-run rule.
Lafayette was never in the game. Pennsylvania’s Brandon Miller hit a 2-1 pitch from Hunter Bergeron over the right field wall in the bottom of the first to open the flood gates.
After a walk and hit batsman, Wyatt Koch emptied the bases with a double to left to make it 3-0. Pennsylvania, only 30 miles from South Williamsport, added seven more runs in the second on four hits and two walks.
“They got on fire,” Lafayette manager Leland Padgett said. “They hit the ball well. We may have made a pitching mistake at the beginning.”
Bergeron did not get an out in the second and gave up seven of the 10 runs.
“They were due,” Padgett said of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania was shut out in their first game and managed only two runs in the second, which was good enough for a win.
“We haven’t hit the ball well since we got here,” Padgett said. “When you’re down three runs in the first inning, you have to answer back.”
He praised starter Landon Breon, who combined with Brandon Miller on a no-hitter. “He threw strikes, he got ahead,” Padgett said
Padgett said Lafayette hit well in the Southwest Region tournament in Waco, Texas.
“In Waco, we out hit everyone,” he said, noting it was 107 degrees in Waco.
He joked maybe “our bats got cold here.
“It could be the pitching,” he said.
The Lafayette players hit well in the cages before the game but it did not carry over, he said.
“We never envisioned ourselves being here in the first place,” Padgett said.
Pennsylvania manager Bill Garbrick pulled Breon after 50 pitches with one out in the fourth despite throwing a no-hitter so Breon will be eligible to pitch Thursday should the team beat Warner Robins, Ga., on Tuesday.
Garbrick said the leadoff homer was a boost for his team.
“You lead off a game like that and you can’t help to get pumped up. The roar of the crowd was amazing as he was rounding the bases,” Garbrick said.
The partisan fans saluted the Keystone Little League all-stars from Clinton County with chants of “Keystone! Keystone!” following their latest victory. They play home games just 30 miles from South Williamsport.
Breon struck out two and walked three before Miller came on for the last two outs. The game ended after the top of the fourth due to Little League’s 10-run rule.
Catcher Wyatt Koch credited Miller’s homer with providing the spark his team needed with Pennsylvania facing elimination.
“It does take the pressure off,” the 13-year-old Koch said. “It gets you motivated to get more runs and it helps the pitcher get a lead.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.