WILLIAMSPORT, S.D. (KELO) — Just four teams remain in the 2021 Little League World Series including Sioux Falls, Ohio, Hawaii and Michigan.
Semifinal Saturday will feature two matchups. Hawaii will play Michigan at 2:30 p.m. central time, but before that game, Sioux Falls will meet Hamilton, Ohio. First pitch is set for 11:30 a.m. on ABC.
A STRONG START TO THE WORLD SERIES
Sioux Falls enters Saturday’s contest with a perfect 3-0 record.
South Dakota picked up a narrow 2-0 win over Louisiana in the first round of the tournament back on Friday, August 20.
Gavin Weir led the way for SD as he threw 5.2 innings of no hit baseball. Cason Mediger would get the last out to complete the combined no-hitter.
Sioux Falls kept their great pitching momentum going when they earned a 3-0 win over Oregon in the second round of the tournament.
Maddux Munson led the way for Sioux Falls in that win as he allowed just one hit, while pitching a complete game shutout.
All three runs came via one swing from Gavin Weir as he hit a three run homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning.
That win was followed by their closest contest of the tournament as Sioux Falls earned a 1-0 win over California.
That win was thanks in large part to Gavin Weir who threw a no-hitter.
Now Sioux Falls is set to face Hamilton, Ohio in the Tom Seaver Championship, which is also known as the semifinals. The winner will advance to the championship game on Sunday.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
Pitching, defense and strikeouts… That has been Sioux Falls’ forte to this point of the tournament.
Offensively, South Dakota has scored just six runs in three games, while connecting on just 13 hits for a .210 batting average.
If you mix in four walks, one reached on error and two hit by pitch, the team on base percentage sits at .279.
However, the offense has done their job as they are out performing their opponents by quite a ways.
Opposing hitters have stood little to no chance through the three contests. Sioux Falls opponents have combined to hit 1-54 in the tournament with a batting average of .019.
To break down the numbers even more… 34 of a possible 54 batters have struck out against Sioux Falls, while 90% of the balls put in play have been considered weak contact.
WHIP means walks plus hits per innings pitched. The lower the better. Sioux Falls’ team WHIP through three games is an impressive .389.
MEET HAMILTON, OHIO
Hamilton, Ohio is one of the northern most suburbs of Cincinnati.
Photo courtesy of Google Maps
Ohio will enter Saturday’s contest having played five games in the tournament. Their record is 4-1.
After a 1-0, extra inning win over Tennessee, Ohio suffered their lone loss as they fell 9-0 to California in the second round.
Since then, Ohio has earned wins over Louisiana (8-2), New Hampshire (4-3) and California (4-2). All of the games were elimination games.
The statistics are a little more advanced for Ohio as they have played two more games than South Dakota has.
Ohio’s team average sits just a hair higher than South Dakota’s at .217. They have been led by #3 Chase Moak who owns a .444 batting average (4-9). #10 Kaleb Harden, #18 Chance Retherford and #7 Brady Baumann each are hitting above .300.
Hamilton has scored 17 runs in their five games.
It has been a team effort on the mound and that’s no surprise considering Ohio has played five games in seven days.
Six pitchers have touched the mound for Ohio. JJ Vogel has led the way in the tournament as he has thrown 10.2 innings and allowed just two hits and two earned runs. He owns a team best 1.125 earned run average (ERA).
However, Vogel threw 89 pitches on Wednesday, August 25 which means he is unable to pitch in Saturday’s contest.
Noah Davidson has also been excellent for Ohio as he has thrown 7 innings and allowed just three runs. He was spectacular against California, which helped advance his team to the semifinals.
Davidson is also unable to on Saturday due to pitch limit rules.
That would mean that signs point to either Kaleb Harden or Cooper Oden taking the mound, though it could be someone else. Either way, it appears South Dakota will avoid the top two pitchers from Ohio.
South Dakota and Ohio will cross paths on Saturday, August 28 at 11:30 a.m. on ABC. You can follow the action on KELOLAND.com.
Maddux Munson will take to the mound for South Dakota as he looks to continue his success in Williamsport.