Joshua Houston needed to work on the mound on Saturday, but Jackie Robinson West LL still managed to pull out a 12-7 victory over New Albany LL in six innings at Stokley Field in Indianapolis, Ind.
Houston gave up six runs in 3 1/3, but the bullpen surrendered one run and the offense banged out 11 to pick up the slack and secure the win for the Illinois State Champions, advancing them to the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series.
Jackie Robinson West is a member of the Little League Urban Initiative, which was formed in 1999 to support local Little League programs in urban neighborhoods in need. Celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year, the Urban Initiative Program also organizes Jamborees for the local leagues in the program around the United States. This year, Jackie Robinson West won the Central Region Jamboree in Milwaukee, Wisc., earlier this summer. This is the 15th time a team from Illinois has advanced to the Little League Baseball World Series, and the second appearance for Jackie Robinson West, which went 2-1 in the 1983 Little League Baseball World Series. The league also advance to the finals of the 2013 Great Lakes Region, losing to Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Cameron Bufford racked up four RBIs on one hit for IL-Jackie Robinson West LL. He homered in the fifth inning.
New Albany LL couldn't get anything going so long as Marquis Jackson was on the hill. Jackson gave up just one hit, allowed one earned run, walked none and struck out seven during his 2 2/3 innings of work.
Josh Castleman was hot from the plate for IN-New Albany LL. Castleman went 1-2, drove in one and scored three runs. He tripled in the fourth inning.
Andrew Ricketts ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision, charged with the loss. He lasted just one-third of an inning, walked two, struck out one, and allowed five runs.
The bottom of the first saw New Albany take an early lead, 3-0. Ricketts kicked things off for Indiana with a single. A single by Cody Medley then moved Ricketts from second to third. Drew Fifer singled, scoring Ricketts and Castleman. More runs came home for the Indiana State Champions when Medley scored on an RBI single by Carson Gentry.
After posting two runs in the second, New Albany again scored two in the fourth. In the second, IN-New Albany LL scored on a fielder's choice, bringing home Austin Oppel.
The game's last lead went to the Illinois State Champs thanks to a fifth inning rally that saw seven runs cross the plate on two solo blasts.
Jackie Robinson West piled on two more runs in the top of the sixth. Darion Radcliff kicked things off with a double, plating Jaheim Benton. That was followed up by Houston's double, scoring Radcliff.
The Great Lakes Region Champions will face the Northwest Region Champions on Friday, Aug. 15, at 3 p.m. at Lamade Stadium, airing on ESPN. Lynnwood (Wash.) Pacific LL won the Northwest Region Championship on Saturday, Aug. 9 in San Bernardino, Calif. All games at the Little League Baseball World Series will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, the Watch ESPN app or ABC.
The 68th Little League Baseball World Series begins on Thursday, Aug. 14 in South Williamsport, Pa., with the Championship Game scheduled for 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 24, airing on ABC. The World Series will culminate the year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Little League. For more information on the Series and to follow the action live, visit llbws.org. To learn more about Little League’s 75th Anniversary, visit LittleLeagueBigLegacy.com.
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