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Sunday Game Thread: Game 4 vs. The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Sunday at 5:05pm CT.

Little League World Series Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Dores have had a honeymoon of a trip to Hawaii, with excellent pitching all around, and the lineup producing how we thought they could prior to the season’s start.

Yesterday, in Game One of the double header, Carter Holton came this close to a 7 inning perfect game, but lost the perfecto, no-no, and shutout all in the 7th. That last domino fell with 2 outs in the 7th. His final line in his 2nd win on the year: 7 IP 2 H 1 R 1 BB 9 K in 90 pitches (61 strikes). Remember when I told you he was our best pitcher coming into the season? He’s our best pitcher, and he’s just going to keep getting better as the season goes on, much like Kumar Rocker’s freshman trajectory.

The offense behind Holton’s gem was much louder than most bids for a perfecto, led by Javy “Vaz Offerens” Vaz (3-3 with a 3B, 1 R, and 5 RBI), Davis “Diaz de los Muertos” Diaz (3-4 with 2 R and 1 RBI), The Dominator (3-4 with 1 R and 1 RBI), The Tater (2-4 with a HR, 2 R, and 1 RBI), Mighty Carter Young (2-4 with a HR, 1 R and 1 RBI), Enrique Shockwave (2-4 with 2 R and 1 RBI), and the hopefully resurgent Parker Noland (2-4 with 2 R). Final score: 12-1.

Game Two was closer—until the 6th, when it was effectively over—with The Life of Reilly going 4 IP 4 H 1 R 1 BB 3 K in 61 pitches (39 strikes). At this point in the season, it looks like Reilly can either be the best closer in the league, or the type of guy you’re going to need to piggyback with another starter/long reliever type in each start. Yesterday, that man was Hunter “Mr. Manager” Owen, who went 3 IP 1 H 0 R 2 BB 6 K in 49 pitches (33 strikes), and was credited with the win. With the game a full blowout, #17 Fr. LHP Ryan Ginther and #98 Fr. RHP Greysen Carter were given their season debuts, with both going one shutout inning with 2 K each.

The offense stayed hot in the back end of the double header, led by Javy “Vaz Offerens” Vaz (1-4 with a Grand Salami), Davis “Diaz de los Muertos” Diaz (3-5 with a 2B, 3 R, and 2 RBI), The Dominator (4-4 with 1 R and 1 RBI), The Tater (2-4 with a HR, 2 R, and 1 RBI), Enrique Shockwave (2-4 with a 3B, 2 R, and 1 RBI), and Triston “The Shandy Man” McKenzie (2-2 with a 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI). Final score: 13-1.

With McBain and Southpaw Sonny Gray going 7 innings each in the first two games of the series, they set the table for us to have a deep pen in game 4. I’d say the only guys who will be shut down today are McBain, Holton, Reilly, and Owen. We’ll start Maldo, but can go to Little, Futrell, Moore, Anderson, Schultz, Berkwich, and Cunningham at any point in the game. W/r/t Little and Futrell: remember, we have no midweek game this week, so no need to hold one of them for a Tuesday or Wednesday start.

The Rainbow Warriors, on the other hand, have used their entire pen already (using 4 pitchers in Game One, 3 pitchers in Game Two, and 5 pitchers in Game Three, for a total of 12 different pitchers in 2 days), and will likely ask whichever reliever they start to go longer than normal. You’ve got to feel for them, and not only because their announcers and fans have been excellent hosts.

Sunday @ 5:05pm CT on ESPN+

#29 Vanderbilt Jr. RHP Nick “Where’s Maldo?” Maldonado (1-1; 2.25 ERA)

vs. #17 Hawaii Jr. RHP Cade “Finger Blister” Halemalu (0-1; 7.00 ERA)

*Note: Seeing as he’s now the official starter, the Rainbow Warriors must believe their originally scheduled Friday starter—#17 Hawaii Jr. RHP Cade Halemalu—has healed his finger (blister) enough to go today, but in my experience, that is unwise. Blisters don’t go from “need to be popped” to “good to go” on a pitcher’s finger in a little over a day. Rush it, and you might be dealing with it for weeks.

The Lineup

1 cf 51 Enrique Bradfield Jr L .282

2 3b 11 Davis Diaz R .538

3 rf 34 Spencer Jones L .300

4 dh 12 Dominic Keegan R .459

5 lf 2 Javier Vaz L .438

6 c 16 Jack Bulger R .263

7 1b 39 Gavin Casas L .333

8 2b 6 Tate Kolwyck R .244

9 ss 9 Carter Young B .216

See you in the comments.