South Carolina, Uganda, California start LLWS with wins

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Alex Edmondson threw his second no-hitter in eight days and hit a two-run homer in the first inning to help Taylors, South Carolina, beat Cranston, Rhode Island, 7-1 on Friday in the state's first victory in the Little League World Series.

Edmondson struck out 15 a week after striking out 12 in his no-hitter in the Southeast championship.

Throwing around 80 mph, Edmondson, a right-hander, struck out the side four times. He struck out 10 straight between the third and sixth innings in South Carolina's first LLWS game since 1950. Charleston in 1949 and Clinton in 1950 failed to win games in the state's only other appearances.

"No South Carolina team had been here in 65 years, and no team had ever won a game at the Little League World Series, so it means a lot. It's a big deal," Taylors manager Kevin Tumblin said.

Edmondson also had an RBI single and was 3-for-4 at the plate.

Terrence Gist hit a long home run to the top of the hill beyond left field in the third inning, giving South Carolina a 3-1 lead. Ben Tumblin and Gage Laymon added RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings, and South Carolina finished with 13 hits.

Rhode Island scored its lone run in the first, when David Marchetti walked and came home on two wild pitches and a dropped third strike.

On Sunday, South Carolina will play Lewisberry, Pennyslvania. Lewisberry beat Webb City, Missouri 18-0 in four innings in a night game.

Rhode Island will play Missouri on Saturday.

Pennsylvania 18, Missouri 0(4 innings)

Cole Wagner had two homers, a double and a single and drove in six runs in four at-bats, leading nearby Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, to a rout of Webb City, Missouri, 18-0 in four innings.

Wagner hit a grand slam and a two-run home run during an eight-run third inning, and Pennsylvania scored 18 runs in the two middle innings. Pennsylvania finished with 16 hits and gave its fans from Lewisberry, a two-hour drive from Williamsport, plenty to cheer.

The Mid-Atlantic champions scored 10 runs in the second inning, highlighted by Kaden Peifer's three-run home run that made it 4-0. Pennsylvania had nine hits in the inning, the first seven reached base and five straight had hits at one point. Chayton Krauss, Jake Cubbler and Adam Cramer all were 2-for-2 in the inning.

Pennsylvania added eight runs in the third inning, which started with Wagner hitting a mammoth home run to dead center field. His grand slam traveled even farther, nearly reaching the top of the hill beyond the center-field wall.

All 13 Pennsylvania players reached base at least once, and winning pitcher Jaden Henline threw 2 1/3 innings of one-hit ball.

Pennsylvania improved to 17-0 this summer and has outscored its opponents 259-13. Pennsylvania plays Sunday in the winners' bracket semifinals against South Carolina.

Cale McCallister and Blake Smith singled for Missouri. It will face Rhode Island on Saturday.

Uganda 4, Dominican Republic 1

Francis Alemo hit a two-run double and also earned the win pitching for Uganda, which opened the Little League World Series with a 4-1 win over the Dominican Republic.

Uganda reliever Jovan Edaku earned the save in two innings of relief, coaxing a bases-loaded groundout in the bottom of the fifth inning and a 4-6-3 double play turned by shortstop Joshua Olara in the bottom of the sixth.

Olara also scored two runs from the leadoff spot.

The team from Kampala represents Uganda's second appearance in the series. In 2012, a team from Lugazi went 1-2, dropping its first two games before winning a consolation crossover game.

This is the Dominican Republic's first appearance here since 1996. The Dominican Republic played without coach Victor Bernabe, who was suspended indefinitely Friday by Little League International for an unspecified conduct violation.

Little League spokesman Brian McClintock said the tournament committee is reviewing the situation.

Venezuela 5, Australia 2

Yeiner Fernandez hit a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning as Venezuela opened its Little League World Series with a 5-2 victory over Australia.

Fernandez scored Adrian Sandoval and Felix Vasquez with his opposite-field shot, which traveled an estimated 310 feet and almost hit cars in the Volunteer Stadium parking lot -- some 100 feet past the outfield fence, which sits 225 feet from home plate.

Australia's Jake Burns hit the game's first home run, a 260-foot shot to left-center in the fourth inning to tie the score at 2-2.

Venezuela scored twice in the top of the third, when Luis Castillo doubled home Adrian Sandoval and scored on an infield error.

Venezuela advances to play Uganda on Sunday in a winners' bracket game. Australia falls into the losers' bracket of this modified double-elimination tournament Saturday versus the Dominican Republic.

Mexico 1, Canada 0

Daniel Zaragoza singled home Raul Leon in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Mexico a 1-0 victory over Canada in its opening game.

Leon led off with a triple to right, and Leon singled in the next at-bat, leaving Canada starting pitcher Matthew Wilkinson with a no-decision.

Wilkinson struck out 16 before leaving at the 85-pitch limit after five innings.

Mexico reached base six times off Wilkinson -- twice on walks, twice on hits, once on a hit batsman, and once on a dropped third strike in the fifth that allowed the extra strikeout situation.

Zaragoza also pitched five shutout innings, striking out 10 and allowing three hits.

Mexico advanced to the winner's bracket and will play the winner of Friday night's Japan-Taiwan game; Canada will face the loser.

California 14, Kentucky 2 (4 innings)

Bonita, California, hit five home runs in the third inning and easily beat Bowling Green, Kentucky, 14-2.

The five home runs in an inning -- hit by five players as part of an 11-run inning -- tied a series record set in 1992 by the Dominican Republic.

Antonio Andrade opened the homer spree, pinch hitter Nick Maldonado had a two-out grand slam and Nate Nankil, Levi Mendez and Walker Lannom also homered. Dante Schmid also homered for Bonita.

"We got hyped up, and that passes on," Schmid said. "It feels amazing."

Carson Kelley hit a two-run home run for Kentucky.

The game was stopped after the top of the fourth inning.

Bonita pitcher Dante Schmid allowed two runs in 3 1/3 innings, struck out eight and hit a three-run homer.

California will play Texas on Sunday. Kentucky will try to avoid elimination Saturday against Oregon.

Texas 1, Oregon 0

Isaac Garcia broke up a perfect game with a home run in the fourth inning, then threw 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief to lead Pearland, Texas, to a 1-0 win over Portland, Oregon.

Garcia delivered the only hit for Texas and made it count, driving a 3-2 pitch over the left-center-field wall for the game's only run. He replaced starting pitcher Jarrett Tadlock an inning later and retired all five batters he faced. Texas advances to Sunday's winners' bracket semifinal.

Oregon will play Saturday against Kentucky in an elimination contest.

Tadlock and Garcia combined on a one-hitter and struck out 11 batters. Tadlock allowed only a fourth-inning single to Spencer Scott.

"That was a great baseball game. There were no errors, no walks and one hit by each team," Pearland manager Andrew Solomon said. "That was baseball at its finest. It was an awesome game at any level, but to watch boys who are 12 and 13 years old play that level on that stage was incredible."

Dylan MacLean pitched 5 2/3 innings, striking out 12 before reaching the 85-pitch limit.

Japan 7, Taiwan 5

Kengo Tomita hit two home runs, and Tokyo beat Taipei, Taiwan, 7-5 on Friday night.

Shingo Tomita led off the game with a home run to right-center for Japan, and Kengo Tomita made it 2-0 with his first homer. Kengo Tomita's second home run, a solo shot in fifth, gave Japan a four-run lead.

Kengo Tomita also singled in Japan's four-run second inning.

Yen Cheng Yu hit a two-run home run for Taiwan in the sixth.

Japan will play Mexico in a winners' bracket game Sunday. Taiwan will face Canada on Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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