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With the way Mexico's Brandon Meza was pitching, the team from Tijuana needed one run.
They got 12.
Meza pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings as Mexico beat Australia 12-0 in four innings in both teams’ opening games of the Little League Baseball® World Series at Volunteer Stadium. Little League's 10-run rule ended the game early.
"We thought he deserved it," said Mexico manager Francisco Fimbres through translator Sergio Guzman of why Fimbres used Meza for game one. "He threw a no-hitter back in regionals. We also wanted to start
on a strong foot. That's why we thought he should get the ball for this game."
The left-hander allowed just two hits and struck out eight, tossing 48 pitches. Meza retired all but one of the first 11 batters he faced and the first five outs recorded by the Mexican team were strikeouts.
"I liked it very much," said Meza through Guzman. "It was a great first experience for me. I really enjoyed it."
Meza helped himself at the plate as well, going 2-for-2, driving in three runs.
Australia's Chase Diggins collected two hits off the left-hander Meza.
"He throws hard," Australia manager Glen Tovey said. "He has a different release point than we've seen in any pitcher."
It was the first time that a team from Australia has competed in the Little League Baseball World Series, and the effort was strong and commendable. They held the powerful Mexico team scoreless in the first inning.
Mexico's bats collected 10 hits in the win, scoring five runs in the second inning and seven in the third. Miguel Artalejo drove in a pair of runs, and the seven-run third included a three-run homer from Brandon Montes.
Australia will face the Caribbean team Saturday at noon, while Mexico will play the Panama team on Sunday at Volunteer Stadium at noon.