Aug 22, 2013
05:15 AMThe Connecticut Story
Westport Team Loses Tough Little League World Series Game
Chula VIsta, Calif.'s Grant Holman is swarmed by celebrating teammates after hitting a three-run home run off Westport, Conn., pitcher Max Popken in the ninth inning of a baseball game at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. Chula Vista won 6-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. >> What started as a marvelous performance from the Westport bullpen and starter Chad Knight, slowly took a turn for the worst Wednesday evening at Lamade Stadium.
Leading 3-1 in the sixth, Chula Vista, Calif. displayed its offensive strength as Nick Mora smashed a solo home run off Harry Azadian to bring it to a 1-run game. Three walks, two wild pitches and two changes at the mound by Westport, and California tied the game at three. From there, it took till the ninth inning for something to give.
With two runners on and one out, Grant Holman smashed a 3-run home run to give California the 6-3 lead that stuck.
California advances to the United States Little League World Series title game on Saturday as Westport will face Eastlake of Sammamish, Wash. today at 8 p.m. in an elimination game.
“It’s disappointing of course to lose,” Westport head coach Tim Rogers said. “It’s painful to be so close to winning.”
The biggest question at the end of the game was pulling Azadian in the top of the sixth with one out and only leading by one run. Azadian was taken out at 20 pitches and is available to throw today. Rogers, however, wasn’t hesitant of the move. He explained he would have kept Azadian in if the situation allowed.
“Our plan was if there was two outs and nobody on, we would let him (Azadian) go,” Roger said.