There was still hope for El Segundo in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday night in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Down by two runs to Texas, El Segundo got two runners aboard after hit batters with two outs. Up to the plate came Louis Lappe, El Segundo’s power-hitting infielder. In the first inning, he had hit a towering solo home run to center field.
But Texas relief pitcher Easton Ondruch came through. He got Lappe to ground out, enabling Texas to come away with a 3-1 victory and send El Segundo into a loser’s bracket game on Tuesday. The team from Needville, Texas, just outside of Houston, was led by DJ Jablonski, who struck out five in 5 1/3 innings and also hit a home run.
Texas played great defense, including a diving backhand catch by shortstop Dayln Martin and two superb catches by outfielders.
El Segundo used four pitchers but could never get the clutch hit with runners on base even though its top batters had chances to deliver.
El Segundo’s pitching staff will now be severely tested if it expects to reach the U.S. championship game Saturday. El Segundo will need wins on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.