SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — At 3:10 p.m. Eastern time Friday, green Pennsylvania mountains as his backdrop, Nash Carter drew a line in the dirt with his neon-green Easton bat, stepped in the left-handed box and took ball one at Howard J. Lamade Stadium. It marked the official start of the Little League World Series for Nolensville, which is making its third straight appearance.
In front of 15,188 onlookers, Carter eventually took ball four and Nolensville was off during what turned out to be an 8-1 victory that included a Stella Weaver single, a Grayson May pitching clinic and a Carter hitting show against the Metro Region champions from Rhode Island. Nolensville will face the Northwest Region champion Northeast Seattle Little League at 2 p.m. CT Monday on ESPN.
After Carter walked to lead off, Lucas McCauley was then hit by a pitch. Turner Blalock smacked a screaming single to right field to score Carter and give Nolensville a 1-0 lead less than five minutes in.
Ty McKenzie II carbon copied Blalock, only his single to right drove in two.
A 3-0 lead in hand, the game headed to the bottom of the first.
As is tradition, Nolensville manager Randy Huth called timeout after his team’s first pitch, walked to the mound where his players gathered and spread his father’s ashes. He first did it in 2021, granting his father’s wish. Huth did it again in when Nolensville made it to South Williamsport in 2022.
Carter led off the top of the third with a single and scored on McKenzie’s second hit of the game, giving Nolensville a 4-0 advantage. McKenzie drove in three runs. Carter Gomillion’s RBI in the fourth put the visitors up 5-0.
May struck out Rhode Island’s first two batters. The third flew out for a 1-2-3 inning. Another 1-2-3 inning followed in the second, when he struck out one. Ditto the third.
Nolensville needed a 1-2-3 double play to escape the fourth inning. Rhode Island loaded the bases with nobody out after scoring a run before May fielded a grounder, threw to catcher Corbin Cyphers for the force at home. Cyphers then fired to McCauley at first to end the inning with Nolensville ahead 5-1.
Carter was at it again in the fifth, when he punched a leadoff, seeing-eye triple that hugged the right-field line and scored two pitches later on McCauley’s groundout to second base.
May exited to applause after striking out four, walking none and allowing a run and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. McCauley took his place on the mound and struck out Franco Lema to end the fifth.
Weaver beat out a sharp grounder to shortstop for a single in the sixth inning. Weaver is the only girl playing in this year’s World Series and became the 10th girl to get a hit in the Little League World Series. Two batters later, Jackson Tabor drove her in to put Nolensville ahead 7-1. Carter Gomillion’s sacrifice fly scored McCarty to make it 8-1.
Weaver also reached in the first inning after she was hit by a pitch.
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