Jones hits 3 homers, all-Black Chicago team wins LLWS opener

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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Moments after Chicago beat Lynnwood, Washington, on Thursday in the Little League World Series, outfielder Pierce Jones looked at his phone — and had to turn it off.

“I didn’t want to deal with all the notifications,” Jones said.

Jones had three homers and four RBIs in Jackie Robinson West’s 12-2 victory in five innings.

Manager Darold Butler the players on the all-Black team hear about the support in and around Chicago, but that they do haven’t grasped the magnitude.

“I know for a fact they don’t know how big it is, or what exactly is going on at home,” Butler said. “It’s just baseball to them.”

Jones homered leading off in the first inning, and also tripled in the game. Shortstop Ed Howard added a two-run homer in the second inning.

Chicago scored five runs in the third inning. Logan Kruse relieved Ian Michael, and Chicago capitalized on a passed ball and other misplays behind the plate.

For Chicago, pitcher Joshua Houston settled down after Lynnwood scored two in the first. Houston went four innings, striking out seven and giving up two hits.

“We’re just trying to make the city proud. We’re trying to make the state proud,” Butler said. “From the batting practice we’ve been taking here and the comeback win that got us here, the kids have been very relaxed. … I felt good going into this game.”

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