The kids from Henderson clinched their berth to the Little League World Series with a dominant victory this afternoon.
Nolan Gifford recorded 11 of 12 outs via the strikeout and didn’t allow a single hit in his 4 innings of work. The only baserunner for Utah was their lead-off hitter, who reach on error.
The Henderson offense quickly provided run support for Gifford, getting on the board early with a two-run double by JoJo Dixon in the second inning. Dixon was then driven in by Chase Daley to make it 3-0 and the Henderson boys never looked back.
Henderson added three more runs in the third, pushing their lead to 6-0 in part because of an RBI double by Arlie McDaniel IV. Gifford re-took the mound and quickly struck out the side for what turned out to be his final inning of work in the fourth, ending with just 44 pitches thrown.
The bottom of the fourth turned out to be the last call for Utah’s Snow Canyon Little League. Logan Lavasseur drove in Dixon with an RBI double to swell Henderson’s lead to 7-0 before he was quickly driven in by Liam Wells to push the tally to 8. The game ended in walk off fashion via the run rule when David Edwards hit a shallow pop-up to right field that was misplayed by the Utah outfielders, driving in the championship clinching 9th and 10th runs for Henderson.
Henderson Little League joins the 2014 Mountain Ridge Little League from Las Vegas to become just the second team from Nevada to ever reach the LLWS. Mountain Ridge advanced to the 2014 United States Championship game, where they were defeated by Jackie Robinson West Little League from Chicago, IL.
Mountain Ridge was awarded the 2014 United States Little League championship in controversy the following winter, when Little League stripped Chicago’s title after it was revealed the team had used ineligible players.
Henderson will open their Little League World Series bid on Wednesday against Smithfield, Rhode Island at Williamsport’s Lamade Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for noon PT on ESPN.