Grant Hays hit two home runs and drove in five runs and three pitchers combined on a one-hitter as the all-star team from the Torrance Little League defeated its counterpart from the West Side Little League in Hamilton, Ohio, 9-0, Sunday in the Little League World Series.
Xavier Navarro retired the final 13 batters he faced after allowing a leadoff double to Kaleb Harden and walking JJ Vogel at Volunteer Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The win moved Torrance (2-0) within two victories of being the first team from Los Angeles County to win the Little League World Series since 1963, when the all-star team from the Granada Hills National Little League won.
Torrance will next play Wednesday against the winner of the game between the all-star teams from the Lake Oswego (Oregon) and Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Little Leagues scheduled for later Sunday.
Hays hit a three-run pinch-hit home run during a four-run second inning that also included Gibson Turner’s RBI double.
Turner doubled in two runs in the sixth. Hays, the next batter, homered.
Skylar Vinson singled in Dominic Golia, who doubled, in the second for the game’s first run.
Andrew Nuruki, Hayes, Golia and Turner each had two hits as part of Torrance’s 11-hit attack.
Torrance is among six teams remaining from the original eight in the Tom Seaver Bracket. With the Little League World Series limited to U.S. teams because of the coronavirus pandemic, the brackets were named for Tom Seaver and Hank Aaron, Hall of Famers who died in 2020 and 2021.
The Little League World Series is customarily divided into U.S. and international brackets.
West Side (1-1) will next play Monday in an elimination bracket game in the modified double-elimination tournament against the all-star team from the Lafayette (Louisiana) Little League.