|ESPN.com: Little League World Series 2013||[Print without images]|
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Knox Preston's head turned out to be fine. And so is the Nashville, Tenn., player's swing.
A day after being cleared by Little League World Series doctors of any signs of a concussion, Preston played a big role in Nashville's 10-0 rout of Newark, Del., in an elimination game Monday.
The second baseman singled and scored the first run during a six-run, second-inning rally. He then sealed it with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth that invoked the tournament's 10-run mercy rule.
"I was really nervous because, at first the doctor said he was really close to saying I had a concussion," said Preston, who landed hard on his head after being tripped up running to first base during a 10-2 win over Corpus Christi, Texas, on Saturday. "When he told me I was able to play, I was so happy because I would've hated to just watch my team and not be able to contribute at all."
The Southeast champions had plenty of contributors in avoiding elimination in their second straight game.
Zane Denton hit a grand slam in the second inning. Robert Hassell had a double and RBI triple.
And just as important, the shortened game allowed manager Chris Mercado to save his pitching as Nashville is still two wins away from having a shot at playing in the U.S. bracket title game.
"That's how we get out of the loser's bracket, guys. We have the pitchers to keep them down," Mercado said. "And once we start hitting, the other team's going to be in trouble."
Nashville advances to face either Sammamish, Wash., or Urbandale, Iowa on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Chinese Taipei rallied from a 3-0 deficit to pull out a 6-4 win over San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, in an International bracket elimination game. Chinese Taipei will play either Aguadulce, Panama, or Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday.
Against Nashville, Delaware (1-2) threatened with the bases loaded in the third before Joseph Davis struck out looking. Justin Courter had the lone hit, a single, for the Mid-Atlantic champions.
After opening the tournament with a 6-3 win over Iowa, Delaware dropped a 15-3 decision to California.
Newark manager John Ludman had no difficulty believing his players would be fine after their second lopsided loss.
"They've gone farther than any Newark team. They had a great ride," Ludman said. "The kids know they accomplished a lot. There were very little expectations for this team. They really have been a Cinderella story."
Nashville, by comparison, suddenly finds itself on a roll since a series-opening 3-2 loss to Westport, Conn.
That's nothing new for a team that's advanced out of the loser's bracket in each of the qualifying tournaments to reach South Williamsport, Pa. Nashville won the Southeast title by winning four straight after losing the opener.
As a result, nerves weren't an issue for Nashville players on Monday.
"I don't think so," Denton said. "We've been in this same position like four times."
Jacob Dahlstrom drove in two runs on four singles and Sammamish, Wash., hung on for a 6-5 win over Urbandale, Iowa.
Dylan Matsuoka's two-run single in the third inning extended Sammamish's lead to 4-1. The Northwest champions added two more in the sixth to build a 6-2 lead before avoiding a late scare to stay in contention in the U.S. division loser's bracket.
Sammamish will face Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday.
Urbandale made it close in its final at-bat. Brook Heinen had a two-out, two-run double and scored on a wild pitch. Reliever Will Armbruester then ended the game by striking out Grant Garwood.
Brady Roberts had two singles and scored once for Urbandale (1-2), which was eliminated.
Chinese Taipei rallied to a 6-4 victory over San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, in an elimination game.
Chinese Taipei (2-1) overcame a 3-0 deficit to stay alive in the International side losing bracket. The Asia-Pacific champion had a short turnaround following a 3-2 loss to Japan on Tuesday.
Huang Chao-Wei of Chinese Taipei singled home two runs during a four-run, fourth inning. Lan Huai-Chein doubled and scored in the fifth inning.
Puerto Rico (1-2) threatened in its final at-bat, scoring once on a two-out, bases-loaded walk to Edgar Baez. But Robert Addarich bounced out to the pitcher to end the game.
Puerto Rico starter Leonardo Lizardi hit four batters into the fourth inning to tie a one-game series record set six times.
Jean Mar Sanchez hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs, and Edgardo Rosales and Juan Crisp combined on a one-hitter to help Aguadulce, Panama, stay alive a 12-0 win over Ottawa, Ontario.
Panama will face Chinese Taipei in an elimination game Tuesday. Canada was eliminated.
Rosales struck out four in 2 2/3 innings, while Crisp struck out two in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Panama scored six times in both the second and third innings. Rosales started the scoring with a solo homer before Rafael Eysseric added a two-run triple. Sanchez knocked home a run with a single and Crisp added a two-run single in the second.
Carmelo Cruz had an RBI walk, Jean Cornejo hit a two-run double and Sanchez homered in the third.
Jack Walsh had the lone hit for the Canadians.
Jared Cruz and Jacob Garza hit back-to-back home runs to key a five-run third-inning in leading Corpus Christi, Texas, to a 5-2 win over Perth, Australia, in a consolation game.
Cruz hit a three-run shot to give Corpus Christi a 4-2 lead, and Garza followed with a solo home run to center.
It was the final game for both teams, which had been eliminated from contention after losing their first two games.
Perth at least finished its first series appearance on a bright note by scoring its first runs of the tournament. They came on Jake Sheldon's two-run double in the top of the third.
The Australians had previously been shut out, 12-0 to Mexico and 4-0 to Puerto Rico.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.