SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT,Pa. (AP) — Mason Gillis drove in two runs with a check-swing double in a four-run fifth for New Castle, Ind., to break open a pitcher’s duel in a 4-0 victory over Greshem, Ore., on Friday night in the Little League World Series.
Cory Murphy started the scoring spree with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on two wild pitches. Gillis followed four batters later with the half-hearted swing that turned into a hit down the right-field line.
Until then, the last two teams to open play in the series played a tense game dominated from the mound.
Indiana’s Cayden Smekens struck out seven over three innings, and two relievers preserved the shutout with three innings of hitless relief. Oregon’s Greg Mehlhaff also had seven strikeouts before being lifted after Indiana broke it open in the fifth.