Georgia Wins Pitching Classic
Carter gave up just one run in three starts and one relief appearance as Georgia stormed to the second straight championship for a U.S. team.
Carter and the other all stars from the Columbus Little League of Georgia beat the team from Kawaguchi City, Japan, 2-1, in the title game Monday afternoon.
The game winner came on a two-run home run by Cody Walker, a screaming line drive over the left-center field fence. Japan has played smallball to take a 1-0 lead. Go Matsumota hit a run-scoring single in the third inning to give the Asians the early lead.
Carter gave up three hits and struck out 11 for the win. Besides yielding the home run to Walker, Matsumota was almost perfect. He struck out nine batters and gave up only three hits.
Both pitchers regularly threw major-league-equivalent 100-m.p.h. pitches and spotted their balls perfectly. Only rarely did the pitchers leave the pitch over the plate.
As expected, home plate umpire Troy Carmont tightened the strike zone for the championship game. Had the strike zone remained as expansive as it was throughout the LLWS, both pitchers might very well have brought no-hitters into the sixth inning.
Japan appeared to have a chance in the sixth inning when carter walked one batter and hit another, but he settled down to retire the side without further incident.
The championship was the second for a team from Georgia. In 1983, the team from the Atlanta suburb of Marietta took the championship with a 3-1 victory over the Dominican Republic.
Georgia’s victory marked only the second time U.S. teams won back-to-back titles on the field. The teams from Kirkland, Wash., and Marietta won titles in 1982 and 1983. Long Beach, Calif., won consecutive titles in 1992 and 1993, but the first title came on a forfeit because of rules violations.
A team from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, won last year’s Little League World Series. That series is recounted in Little League, Big Dreams.