Greenville’s North State All-Stars put on another record-setting performance Sunday while firmly establishing themselves as the team to beat on the United States side of the bracket at the Little League World Series.
Two days after combining with another pitcher to throw the first LLWS perfect game since 2008, Chase Anderson and Matthew Matthijs combined for a second straight no-hitter in a 16-0 shellacking of West representative Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
It marked the first time in the tournament’s 70-year history that an American team posted back-to-back no-hitters.
With the win before a packed house at Lamade Stadium in Williamsport, Pa, Greenville advances to a winner’s bracket matchup Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Lukin, Tex. — the only other U.S. team to win its first two games. The game will be televised live on ESPN.
Greenville got on the board early Sunday with a run in the first on a double by Matthijs and a Thomas Barrett single. It then broke the game open by scoring five times in the second, highlighted by a leadoff homer from JoeJoe Byrne and a grand slam later in the inning off the bat of Carson Hardee.
From that point on, with the outcome all but decided, the only suspense was whether California would be able to muster a hit off Greenville’s strong pitching.
It didn’t happen against starter Anderson, who threw three perfect innings before giving way to Matthijs. Although Rancho Santa Margarita did succeed in putting two runners on — both by way of walks — it wasn’t able to register a hit off Matthijs either.
Greenville added to its lead with a single run in the fourth, then put the game away by sending 13 men to the plate in a nine-run fifth inning rally that put the mercy rule into effect. Luke Lambert and Bryce Jackson both had RBI doubles in game-breaking uprising.
In all, the North State All-Stars pounded out 18 hits, with 12 different players contributing at least one to the victory. Barrett led the way with three hits, while Matthijs, Hardee, Cameron Greenway and Cash Daniels-Moye had two each. Hardee led the way with five RBI.