For the third straight season, there would be a Major League Baseball game played at historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in honor of the Little League World Series.
The Chicago Cubs took care of business early and often en route to a 7-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Little League Classic.
Chicago was the road team and Pittsburgh was the home team.
Nicholas Castellanos hit a solo home run off of Mitch Keller for the Cubs in the first-inning. Jason Heyward also hit a solo home run off of Mitch Keller in the third-inning.
Kyle Schwarber had a two-run single in the fourth-inning for Chicago. They tacked on three more runs in the fifth-inning on a RBI double by Kris Bryant and a two-run homer by Anthony Rizzo off the scoreboard in left field. Rizzo hit the home run off of Stratton.
The Pirates hit a solo home run in the ninth-inning by Starling Marte off of Craig Kimbrel on the first pitch.
Pittsburgh loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Melky Cabrera struck out swinging to end the game.
Jose Quintana (11-7) was the winning pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. He pitched seven strong innings. Quintana gave up five hits and zero runs. He walked zero batters and struck out seven.
Mitch Keller (1-2) was the losing pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He pitched 4.1 innings and gave up seven hits and six runs. Keller walked two batters and struck out five.
He is 23 years old and Mitch Keller has a ton of potential, but he needs the right coaching staff in order for him to succeed.
As bad Pittsburgh has been in the second-half, they did not get swept in this series.
These two teams will play each other twice (three-game sets) down the stretch.
The Chicago Cubs are technically tied for first place in the National League Central with the St. Louis Cardinals, but Chicago’s win percentage is .532 and St. Louis’s is .533 and that’s why the Cubs are in the second wild card spot in the National League.
Chicago has a two-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, the New York Mets, and the Philadelphia Phillies for the second wild card in the National League.
The Chicago Cubs will host the San Francisco Giants for a three-game set starting on Tuesday night. The Pittsburgh Pirates will host the Washington Nationals for a four-game set starting on Monday night.