One more for Williamsport.
The Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Little League team blew by New Albany, Ind., with a 14-2, four-inning mercy decision Wednesday to advance to the championship game of the Great Lakes Regional.
Woods-Shores led 3-2 after the top of the second inning, but padded the lead with two more in the third, then blew it wide open with a nine-run third inning.
"I'll tell you, man, it was important for us when they put those two on the board to respond back, we got them back, and then we opened the floodgates the next inning," Woods-Shores coach Kurt Barr said over the phone Wednesday. "Up and down the lineup, we hit the ball really well."
Woods-Shores is 3-0 after winning its opener, 7-2, over Illinois, and its second game, 12-2, over Wisconsin.
Barr's team now has to wait until 5 p.m. Saturday to play for the championship (televised on ESPN). Elimination games for other teams continue Thursday and Friday.
The winner Saturday earns the Great Lakes Regional's spot in the Little League World Series, later this month in Williamsport, Pa. Woods-Shores has gone there three times before, including last year, but this year's team is completely new from last year's.
"Honestly, if we could get back in the saddle and play tomorrow (Thursday), it would be the best thing for us," Barr said. "We're feeling good.
"It will be challenging for us as coaches, how do we stay sharp? I mean, we essentially have three days off. It's gonna be a challenge, but we're up for it. The way the kids have approached this whole week, loose and confident, I don't think it's going to be an issue."
It doesn't hurt that Woods-Shores' still-TBA finals opponent will have to burn some good pitching to get to the championship game, where as Woods-Shores will have both of its aces, Ryan Knaebel — fresh off winning a youth-travel championship in Cooperstown, N.Y., last week — and Brennan Hill, available on full rest.
There were several hitting stars Wednesday, including leadoff man Reggie Sharpe (3-for-3), Jaren Purify (3-for-3, two triples, double), Elliott Nederhood (RBI single) and Marwynn Matthews (RBI single).