Brody Brooks is having an MVP-like performance at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
With his bat, glove and arm, Brooks led El Segundo into the U.S. championship game with a 2-1 victory over Washington on Thursday.
El Segundo was forced into three consecutive must-win situations this week to avoid elimination and pulled it off to advance to Saturday’s game against Texas, the only team to defeat El Segundo in the tournament. The winner will play in Sunday’s championship game against either Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) or Curacao.
Brooks, usually El Segundo’s shortstop, came on to pitch in the fifth inning with two runners aboard and none out and escaped the jam. In the sixth, Washington put two runners aboard on a hit batter and walk, then loaded the bases when the ball went to the backstop on a strikeout that would have ended the game. With pressure building, Brooks got the final out with a forceout at second.
Brooks contributed a single and double, giving him a tournament-leading eight hits in 11 at-bats.
“I wanted this game pretty badly,” Brooks told ESPN. “I wanted to face the [Texas] pitcher again.”
Declan McRoberts shut out Washington for three innings, then Washington scored in the fourth on a double and single to cut its deficit to 2-1. McRoberts struck out five in four innings.
Brooks led off the first inning for El Segundo with a single. El Segundo loaded the bases and a McRoberts infield single made it 1-0. In the second inning, Finley Green had a single to score Quinn Boehle.
Texas will have a well-rested DJ Jablonski to pitch Saturday. He shut down El Segundo this week in a 3-1 victory. But El Segundo will have Louis Lappe, its No. 1 pitcher, also available.