The all-star team from the Torrance Little League is scheduled to resume play in the Little League World Series on Sunday after opening play with a 10-2 victory over its counterpart from North Manchester-Hooksett (New Hampshire) Little League.
Torrance combined two four-run innings with Gibson Turner and reliever Dominic Golia limiting North Manchester-Hooksett to one run and three hits over the first five innings Thursday for the victory at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Torrance next faces the all-star team from the West Side Little League in Hamilton, Ohio at 6 a.m. Sunday Pacific Daylight Time. The game will be televised by ESPN. Hamilton was a 1-0 winner over the all-star team from the Nolensville (Tennessee) Little League Thursday in eight innings.
Torrance had six consecutive batters reach base with two outs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead and combined two hits, three walks, a hit batter and passed ball for four more runs in the fifth.
Elias Emerson and Andrew Nuruki both drove in two runs for Torrance, the first team from Los Angeles County to play in the Little League World Series since 1994.
Emerson singled in Skylar Vinson with Torrance’s first run. Vinson had singled and stole second.
Emerson walked to force in Brandon Perez with Torrance’s first run of the fifth inning. Perez was a special pinch runner for Grant Hayes, who doubled leading off the inning.
Nuruki was hit by a pitch in the second inning, forcing in Emerson, who singled, with Torrance’s second run. Nuruki’s two-out single in the fifth drove in drove in Emerson, who walked, to increase Torrance’s lead to 8-1.
Torrance scored its final two runs in the sixth and final inning. Levi Cornett walked with one out, moved to second on an error by Tristan Lucier, the North Manchester-Hooksett center fielder, on a fly ball hit by Golia, and scored when Vinson reached base on an error by Ryson Michaud, the North Manchester-Hooksett right fielder.
Dycen Miyake singled in Golia two batters later.
North Manchester-Hooksett scored in the third on a walk, two errors and a wild pitch and a home run by Lucier leading off the sixth.
Torrance is in the Little League World Series thanks to decisions by Little League International, which chose to limit the World Series to U.S. teams because of the coronavirus pandemic but keep the same number of games for ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC to televise.
The top two teams from all eight U.S. regions advanced to the World Series instead of just the champion. Torrance was the runner-up in the West Region, losing 7-2 to all-star team from the Honolulu Little League in the regional final Saturday at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino.
Only invited friends and family of teams and other high-level supporters are able to see the Little League World Series in person due to concerns over the coronavirus’ Delta variant.