Ferry fans 13, tosses one-hitter as Illinois advances
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Lemont advanced to the next round -- and in the process brought Columbus along for the ride in Pool A action in the Little League World Series.
Lemont needed a win to advance to the semifinals of the Little League World Series. Pitcher Josh Ferry made sure that happened by striking out 13 batters and allowing just one hit in Illinois' 2-0 win over Georgia.
Georgia moves forward because it defeated Arizona 4-1 on Sunday.
"Yeah, we knew [we could advance if we lost], but I told our kids to just win the game," Georgia manager Randy Morris said. "You hate to kind of back into anything."
Twelve-year-old Austin Mastela was back in the lineup after he was struck in the head by a pitch during the second inning of Lemont's game against Staten Island, N.Y. on Sunday. He was taken to a hospital with bleeding and swelling near the back of his ear.
Mastela started in center field and scored on an RBI single by Michael Hall in the second inning.
Mastela said before the game that he was suffering no ill effects from the beaning and would wear a different batting helmet for the game.
Lemont scored the only two runs of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Mastela scored the first run on Columbus first baseman Kyle Carter's throwing error.
Carter tried to double up Zak Kutsulis at second base, but his throw went into left field, allowing Mastela to score all the way from second base. Kutsulis then scored on a single by Mike Hall.
"When I saw that runner on third, I knew I had to get him in," Hall said. "When I hit it, I knew I got the hit."
The right-handed Ferry made it stand up with a dominating effort. Through the first five innings, Ferry retired 15 of the first 16 batters, including 12 of his 13 strikeouts.
"He is a calm, cool kid," Lemont manager Mike Hall said of Ferry. "What an unbelievable competitor. He knows he's the best player in this tournament. A five-tool player."
Brady Hamilton had the only hit, a second-inning single, for Columbus, which also advances into the semifinals on a tiebreaker.
Illinois, Georgia and Arizona all finished with 2-1 records in Pool A, but Illinois advances on the strength of giving up the fewest runs among the three teams.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.