Newark National strikes early to win LLWS opener

By Associated Press 11:10pm, August 16, 2013 - Updated 12:18am, August 17, 2013
Nate Hardcastle makes a throw from his knees in the 4th inning. The runner was out. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Newark National exploded for five 1st inning runs and Joey Davis and Nate Hardcastle made it stand up on the mound, as the Delaware champions defeated Urbandale, Iowa 6-2 at the Little League World Series Friday night.

Newark, which has been the visiting team in every tournament game they've played this year, jumped right on Iowa in the first with six hits. Eric Ludman started the scoring with an RBI single, and then Jack Hardcastle hit a sharp ground ball off an Iowa grove to bring in a second run.

Jared Owens then stepped up with a two-run single, and Joey Courter also drove in a run to make it 5-0 before Iowa even came to bat.

Davis started, and gave up a pair of runs in the first, but then kept Iowa off the board the rest of the way until being pulled with two outs in the fifth inning after throwing the maximum 85 pitches. Davis struck out five while allowing just one hit, but he walked five batters. He will be eligible again on Wednesday.

Nate Hardcastle then entered the game, getting a strikeout to end the 5th inning threat. He then helped his cause at the plate by driving an RBI single to right field making it 6-2.

Back on the mound in the 6th, the 6-foot-1 ace gave up a walk and a single to start the inning. Hardcastle was able to draw a couple of strikeouts, but allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. After another walk, Iowa had the tying run at the plate, but Hardcastle recorded his 4th strikeout to end the game.

The victory is the first by a Delaware team in Williamsport, after the only other representative, 2003 Naamans, went 0-3 in their trip to the Little League World Series.

Newark will face Chula Vista, California, who won their game over Texas 3-0 in seven innings on a no-hitter, Sunday at 5pm for a chance to reach the winner's bracket championship game. Hardcastle will be available for Sunday's game.

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