|Apopka doesn’t do Bainbridge any Lafavers
Pitching wins ballgames, and Apopka has pitching.
Starter Justin Lafavers threw a near no-hitter in his first start of the Little League World Series. Lafavers held the Bainbridge offense in check the entire game. He struck out 11 and allowed just one hit in his complete game shutout.
“I think that I had my best stuff today,” he said.
Lafavers allowed only one hit in the game. Peter Leslie reached base on a bloop single to center with two outs and two strikes in the sixth inning to end Lafavers’ no-hitter.
“I don’t really care that I lost the no-hitter,” Lafavers said. “All I care about is that we won the game.
With Lafavers’ stellar pitching performance, Apopka’s two-run fifth inning was all they would need as they went on to beat Bainbridge, 2-0.
counterpart, Bainbridge hurler Robert Stevenson, was just about as dominating. Stevenson shut down an Apopka offense that was averaging nearly two home runs a game coming into the Little League World Series.
“(Stevenson) threw the ball outstanding against us,” Apopka manager Bob Brewer said. “There is quality pitching at this tournament, and we have been totally shut down. I feel that we will come around sooner or later. Hopefully it is sooner rather than later.”
In the two-run fifth, Andrew Cobb started the inning with a single to left, and then was bunted over to second by Jeff Lovejoy.
After a groundout, Stuart Tapley stepped to the plate with the go-ahead run on third and two outs. Tapley came through for his team, sending a line drive to left field and driving home Cobb, giving his team a 1-0 lead.
“The ball was right in my vision,” Tapley said. “I just tried to hit a ground ball, and luckily, it went out of the infield and got the run in.”
Lafavers added to Apopka’s lead two batters later, sending Tapley home on a single of his own.
Stevenson was able to strikeout Will Blankenship to get out of the inning, but the damage had been done.