Nolensville Little League is headed to the US Championship Game.
Nolensville got a Josiah Porter grand slam in the first inning and led the rest of the way in a 7-1 win over Pearland (Texas) in the Little League World Series on Thursday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Drew Chadwick kept Porter’s grand slam on the mound with a complete game performance, and Nolensville now knows it will be in the game for the trophy this weekend.
The first innings tells the story again
Nolensville fell behind in the first inning after Texas hit a pair in their first at bat to take a 1-0 lead.
Nolensville started quickly at the plate. After the strikeout, Nolensville got singles from Jack Rhodes, Bo Daniels and Wright Martin. After another strikeout, Porter stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. He cranked a 2-1 pitch over the center field fence for a game-changing grand slam, capping another eventful first inning.
That’s been the trend for Nolensville, which went 4-0 in a win over Utah on Friday and fell to Hawaii 5-0 on Wednesday in the team’s only loss of the tournament.
Nolensville added a run in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth, which was plenty for Chadwick to work with on the mound.
Drew Chadwick settled on the mound
Chadwick settled down after a rough start, limiting the loss to one run in the first inning and allowing just four runners over the next five innings.
His final line Thursday: six innings, six hits, one run allowed, no walks and six strikeouts on 85 pitches.
And even as he pitched a single in the fifth inning while sliding into the base between first and second base, Chadwick’s smart baserunning allowed Wright to score Martin before Chadwick got the third out of the inning.
Chadwick has allowed two runs over 8 ⅔ innings in two starts in the Little League World Series and added three RBIs and three runs at the plate.
Nolensville Saturday (2:30 p.m. CT, ABC) vs. Honolulu (Hawaii) U.S. advances to the championship game. Honolulu went 4-0 in the tournament with a 13-0 win over Nolensville on Wednesday.
“I don’t know if (Hawaii) is beatable,” Nolensville coach Randy Huth told ESPN after the game. “If someone is going to kill them, why not us?”
The winner of that game advances to the LLWS finals against Curacao or Chinese Taipei.