SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Little League rules impose a limit of 85 pitches, a number that can make it tough to throw a no-hitter. Grant Holman of Chula Vista, Calif., didn’t have any problems Friday.
Holman struck out 13 and became the first player to toss a no-hitter in the Little League World Series since the rule was put in place in 2007, leading Chula Vista into the second round with a 3-0 victory over Grosse Pointe, Mich.
With his seven innings of work, Holman also became the first pitcher since 1979 to throw an extra-inning no-hitter in the LLWS.
Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 166 pounds, the 13-year-old Holman outdueled Grosse Pointe’s Chad Lorkowski — another stout young pitcher at 6-3 and 219 pounds.
The 12-year-old Lorkowski struck out 12 in six innings but exhausted his 85-pitch allotment.
He walked two batters and hit another.
Grosse Pointe manager Tom Mazzola praised both pitchers.
“That kid throws hard,” Mazzola said about Holman. “He’s 6-foot-4, he has a nice curveball and he hits his spots. We haven’t quite faced a pitcher like that, but the same goes for our big fella. Chad for his size and weight is remarkable.”
Each pitcher was clocked throwing fastballs in the low-to-mid 70s.
Chula Vista ended a scoreless tie against Grosse Pointe reliever Antonio Moceri with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Holman narrowly missed a perfect game with only one walk and got some help from his defense.
On Sunday, Chula Vista will face Newark, Del., which beat Urbandale, Iowa, 6-3. Grosse Pointe will take on Urbandale on Saturday in the loser’s bracket.
In the international bracket, Tokyo beat Brno, Czech Republic, 7-3, and Taoyuan, Taiwan, routed Ottawa, Ontario, 10-2. Taiwan and Japan will face each other Sunday, while the Canadians will take on the Czechs on Saturday.
Delaware 6, Iowa 3: Joseph Davis allowed one hit in 42/3 innings and Newark held on to win after scoring five times in the first inning.
Japan 7, Czech Republic 3: Kazuki Ishida hit a two-run homer and Kyousuke Kobayashi drove in a pair of runs with a double to lead Tokyo.
Taiwan 10, Canada 2: Chou Shih-Che, Lan Huai-Chien and Yeh Tung-Jua homered to lead Taiwan over the team from Ottawa.
Yeh allowed just one hit in three innings — retiring the first eight hitters of the game — to get the win.