Mo’Ne Davis, the breakout star of this year’s Little League World Series, and her Taney Dragons of Philadelphia were eliminated from the tournament by an all-Black team, Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West, in a 6-5 loss Thursday in Williamsport, Pa.
Davis wasn’t eligible to pitch after taking the mound Wednesday in an 8-1 loss. Instead, the pitching spotlight was on Jackie Robinson West’s Marquis Jackson, who pitched a beautiful game despite a slow start. Taney’s Zion Spearman hit a double off Jackson in the first inning, and Jack Rice followed with a two-run single to stake Taney to a quick 2-0 lead.
Philadelphia pitcher Mo’ne Davis, center, heads back to the dugout with her teammates.
But Jackie Robinson West fired back by scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning, including two runs off a double by Joshua Houston. Jackie Robinson West scored two more runs in the second inning to extend their lead to 6-2.
After the early slips, Jackson didn’t give up another run while he was on the mound and pitched through most of the third inning, striking out several batters to keep the Taney Dragons scoreless. He eventually reached the Little League World Series maximum pitch count of 85 pitches and was forced to leave the mound and switch to second base.
After a scoreless third inning, Spearman nailed a two-run RBI single in the top of the fourth inning to cut Jackie Robinson West’s lead to 6-4. Taney’s Kai Cummings then blasted a home run in the fifth inning to make it 6-5; but thereafter, the Dragons’ offense dried up in the sixth inning and their comeback bid fell short.
Jackie Robinson West now advances to the U.S. Championship game, and will play Las Vegas on Aug. 23 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.