This isn't your daddy's Little League World Series anymore. Besides playing in front of crowds of over 40,000, these kids have skills way beyond their years. Now they are going nine innings too.
On Wednesday night, two Venezuelan teammates combined to make a clutch play in extra innings that would make Nick Swisher and Russell Martin proud.
Mexico was at bat in the top of the seventh inning during a 1-1 game with one out and men on first and second. The Mexican batter looped a long single into right field where the Venezuelan outfielder scooped it up and, while on the run, threw a dart towards the plate where the Mexican player was steaming home from second. The ball skipped once directly into the waiting glove of the plate-blocking Venezuelan catcher, who then did a swipe tag into the runner's ribs for the big out and preserve the deadlocked game.
It was a pretty incredible play for two kids, barely in their teens, in a clutch situation.
While the fantastic play kept the Mexican team from taking the lead, they did finally win the game when Mexico's Bruno Ruiz had a lead-off solo home-run in the top of the ninth. It was the first home-run for Mexico in the tournament.
The good thing was that both teams will still advance in the tournament after playing one entertaining game.
Mexico's 2-1 victory guarantees a slot in the International Championship game. Venezuela can't afford another loss and faces Japan next.
On a major league note, New York Yankees Venezuelan catcher, Francisco Cervelli, had a charitable bet with his Mexican teammate, reliever Luis Ayala, on the outcome of the game. The loser would supply teams back home with baseball cleats and equipment. Cervelli will be buying a lot of shoes tomorrow.
The Yes Network also reported that Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera, watched the match-up in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse and was immersed in the exciting game until the very end.
Bet the kids would love to know that a future Hall-of-Famer was impressed by their abilities as well too.