5pm – Live-blogging the Little League World Series Elimination Game: Huntington Beach vs. Pennsylvania! UPDATE – Victory 2-0!




So, last night’s grand showdown between Huntington Beach’s Ocean View Little League team and Billings Montana’s Big Sky All-Stars went into extra innings with nobody able to score against each team’s great pitchers and fielders, until a home run from Montana’s Ben Askelson settled the dispute.

I’d thought it was all over for Huntington Beach then.  Stupid me.  Nobody explains things.  Our team still proceeds to what is called an “elimination game” tonight at 5 (watch ESPN2) against home team the Keystone Little League All-Stars of Clinton County, Pennsylvania.   This game being held in front of hundreds of raucous Pennsylvania fans, our boys need all the support from back here that we can muster.  You can actually send them a message here.

So – if we win tonight against PA, we still have a chance to go to the finals.  If you’re not at your TV, watch this post starting at 5 for live-blogging of the game, this time with my sports-fan brother Crab helping out…

First Inning

HB up first!  Our star pitcher Hagen Danner at bat – whoa – a double!  Nice.  Next batter hits, out at first.  Hagen still waiting on second.  Nick Pratto at bat next … wild pitch, Hagen sneaks to third.   Pratto gets hit on the foot and walks to first.  Jason Mayorga up.  “A hot hitter,” the announcer says.  The hot hitter strikes out.  🙁  Stephen Kotkostsky hits, out at first… is being challenged… the call stands.  You can tell because the huge PA crowd roared out in agreement.  That’s three outs.

PA up – Hagen our star pitcher, pitching to PA’s star hitter Brandon Miller.  “Throwing very very hard – 70MPH.”  Brandon strikes out!  Alex Garbrick at bat, hits a single – our third baseman fumbles it a bit.  … Hagen’s second strikeout …  big HIT … caught!  Three outs, Zero to zero.

Second Inning

Justin Cianca at bat … strikes out.  Brandon Salzman (the getting hit in the hat-bill boy) WALKS.  Dylan “Dill Pickle” Palmer up.  Strikes out – d’oh!  Anthony Martinez at bat – strikes out.

Cole Reeder at bat, struck out by Hagen Danner!  (his third so far) another strike-out.  Pennsylvania’s Watkins hits a single!  HAGEN’S SIXTH STRIKE-OUT in two innings!  Still zero zero.

Third Inning

HAGEN DANNER HITS A HOMER!  A “wedgie homer” which wedged on top the center field wall!  That’s our first home run all series.    Then, a strikeout.  Nick Pratto up.  Hits … but “nothing gets by (PA’s) Brandon Miller at first base..”  And another strikeout.

PA makes a good hit, but KOTKOWSKY (sp?) scrambles and catches it!  Yay Kotkowsky!  (sp?)  Hagen’s throws another strike out.  And another.  SEVEN OUTS in 3 innings have been Danner strikeouts.  (Did I make a mistake earlier?)

Fourth Inning

HB hit gets caught…  Christian Cataño DOUBLE off center field wall!  And gives the “Croix de Wilson!”  (Now my brother’s here, I wouldn’t have known that term.)    Rio Takata hits a single into center and DRIVES CATAÑO HOME!  HB up 2-0. Missed something, inning’s over.

Hagen’s ninth strikeout!  Um, scratch that – TENTH!

Fifth Inning

Hagen at bat – hits a single to center field, just barely missed by two PA outfielders.  Koskotsky (sp?) gets hit, walks to first.  Pratto hits short fly, gets caught, we still got guys on first and second.  Two outs …  HEY!  Pennsylvania just brought on their star pitcher, their “Brian Wilson,” the announcer says…  that’s Tyler McCloskey.  And one of our guys (I missed who) hits and gets tagged before first, inning over.

PA hits a single, HB defense fumbled it.  The fella takes second on a wild pitch.  Danner has struck out 11 out of 16 hitters so far!  Remarkable.  Another wild pitch gets the runner to third. Next batter hits, gets tagged before first.  And then McCloskey’s hit gets caught.

Sixth Inning

Hagen hits, but gets tagged before first.  Salzman strikes out.  The Dill Pickle is up – hits line drive directly into glove of PA’s right fielder.  Three more outs for Pennsylvania and the game’s over.

Danner STILL pitching.  This should be the last inning.  TWELFTH STRIKEOUT!  OH, now Salzman pitching.  PA hits a single…  And Salzman got the next guy swinging on strike three … TWO OUTS!  A hit, someone’s tagged, and GAMES OVER!  TWO TO ZERO!  And that dick Dan C from the Liberal OC just e-mailed me to say “Stick to politics, you don’t know anything about baseball!”  And I say, to hell with him, where’s HIS Huntington Beach Little League story?

More to come…

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.