Down, Not Out: Loudoun South Looks to Bounce Back in LLWS Elimination Game

August 22 - Loudoun South American faces elimination at the Little League World Series after having an 18-game winning streak snapped last night in Williamsport, PA. 

The Southeast Region champions dropped to the loser’s bracket after suffering a 12-9 loss to Central East Maui from Wailuku, HI. As a result, they’ll play Eastbank from River Ridge, LA - the Southwest Region champions - in an elimination game tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN. 

The West Region champions (15-2) advance to Saturday’s United States final and will await tonight’s winner.

After falling behind early, Loudoun South American (19-2) rallied for six runs in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game, 8-8. They’d hand the lead back, however, as the Hawaiians scored once on Chase Obstgarten in the fourth and three times on Brady Yates in the fifth. 

Justin Lee, who combined with Liam Thyen and Obstgarten on a no-hitter in a 3-0 win over Barrington, R.I. on Friday and tossed a four-inning no-hitter in an 11-0 win over Coon Rapids, MN on Sunday, gave up four runs and was unable to get out of the first inning. He’ll be available to pitch tonight, as will Obstgarten after both had abbreviated outings. Thyen, the team’s No. 2 pitcher during its run this summer, will not be available after throwing 51 pitches. 

Loudoun South American used five pitchers, with Kian Henson closing the game out with two scoreless frames. 

Colton Hicks and Noah Culpepper had two hits apiece and combined for five RBI to pace Loudoun South American. Lee was 1-for-2 with two walks and Chase Triplett had his third pinch-hit single of the tournament.

With the loss, the two-time Virginia champions will face a hot Eastbank (13-1) team that has run off three straight wins since a 5-2 opening-round loss to Central East Maui. The Louisiana team is led by Reese Roussel, who is 9-for-13 at the tournament, and a pitching staff that has allowed just 16 hits and posted a 0.86 ERA in its four games in Williamsport. 

Eastbank is likely to start right-hander Marshall Louque, who took the loss after being charged with four unearned runs against Central East Maui last week but has posted a 1.10 ERA with 25 strikeouts to just three walks in 16.1 innings since the beginning of the Southwest Regional. 

Notes: Only six teams remain alive in Williamsport, as Eastbank eliminated Mid-Atlantic Region champion Elmora (Elizabeth, N.J.) with a 4-1 win and Carribean champion Pabao (Willemstad, Curacao) eliminated Latin American champion Cacique Mara (Maracaibo, Venezuela) with a 9-2 victory. Pabao will play Asia-Pacific champion Chung Nam (South Chungcheong, South Korea) this afternoon for the right to face Japanese champion Chofu in the international final on Saturday … After playing two error-free games while posting consecutive shutouts to begin the tournament, Loudoun South American committed five errors last night. The team’s five pitchers threw a combined 163 pitches.

Photo of Matt Coleman by Joey Kamide