Jorge Jacobo struck out 12 and tossed a two-hitter to open the Little League World Series (LLWS) and lead Mexicali, Mexico, to a 3-0 victory over Taiwan’s team from Greater Kaoshiung on Thursday.
The 12-year-old Jacobo pitched a gem and struck out the final five hitters. It was the first time a Taiwan team had been shut out in 55 games at the series.
Mexico scored all the runs they would need in the top of the first inning, when Carlos Arellano singled and was sacrificed to second. Jacobo then doubled him home for a 1-0 lead, before Alonso Garcia followed with an RBI single.
Jacobo finished 1 for 3 at the plate with two runs.
Ko Chia-hao struck out five and allowed six hits to take the loss for Taiwan.
Taiwan won 17 titles in the event between 1969 and 1997, after which it stopped participating because of a disagreement with Little League Baseball. The country returned to the game in 2003 and represented the Asia-Pacific in 2007.
Meanwhile, in the Pony League Baseball World Series in Washington, Pennsylvania, Taiwan sent a Californian team packing on Thursday to progress to the championship game.
The team of 13-year-olds and 14-year-olds from New Taipei City eliminated the players from Long Beach 1-0 with Wang Ku-fan’s two-out single in the third inning.
Three Taiwan pitchers worked together to achieve a shutout, allowing only five hits over seven innings.
It is the 12th straight time Taiwan has reached the finals of the annual event. They vie today for their seventh title since 1993 against US South Zone champions Laredo, Texas.