Little League World Series: West Side survives late rally to win third game

Hamilton all-star team has now won three games in Williamsport after having not won more than one game in four previous trips

West Side Little League won its second straight elimination game at the Little League World Series, beating North Manchester-Hooksett, N.H., 4-3 on Wednesday at Volunteer Stadium in Williamsport, Pa.

» PHOTOS: West Side vs. New Hampshire

West Side took a 4-0 lead into the final inning. Kaleb Harden, who threw three scoreless innings in relief Monday, entered the game in the sixth with two runners on base and no outs and gave up a three-run home run to the first batter he faced. Then he battled back to close the game, recording the final out with a strikeout and stranding the tying run on first base.

The team of 12-year-old Hamilton all-stars will play Torrance, Calif, for the second time at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lamade Stadium. Torrance was no-hit and lost 1-0 to Sioux Falls, S.D., on Wednesday. West Side lost 9-0 to Torrance, Calif., on Sunday in the second round.

If West Side wins Thursday, it would Sioux Falls in the final of the Tom Seaver Bracket at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Lamade. That game would be televised on ABC.

Against the New Hampshire champions, West Side built a 4-0 lead with two runs in the third and two runs in the sixth.

Chance Retherford and JJ Vogel drove in the first two runs. Krew Brown and Harden drove in the next two. Harden, Retherford and Brown each had two hits.

Vogel once again dominated on the mound for West Side. He struck out 11 in five innings and didn’t give up a hit until a leadoff double in the sixth. He walked the next batter and then was replaced by Harden.

“Great game,” coach Ken Coomer told Vogel on the mound in a speech broadcast on ESPN. “Gave everything you’ve got.”

» PHOTOS: West Side vs. Louisana

Vogel threw a five-inning no-hitter in the regional tournament to clinch a Little League World Series berth and then gave up one hit in 5 2/3 innings in the first round of the World Series.

Harden replaced Vogel and gave up the three-run home run to Calen Lucier. He then got a fly out and a strikeout. After a single, he nailed down the victory as West Side, which had never won more than one game in the tournament, celebrated its third victory in the 2021 tournament.

West Side opened the World Series on Thursday with a 1-0 victory in eight innings against Nolensville, Tenn. After the loss to Torrance on Sunday, West Side stayed alive by beating Lafayette, La., 8-2 on Monday.


West Side vs. Torrance, Calif. or Sioux Falls, S.D., 7 p.m., ESPN

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