Mini ‘Big Papi’ Delivers for Nashville at LLWS
South Williamsport, Pa. — Make room, David Ortiz. There’s a mini “Big Papi” swinging a big bat for Nashville, Tenn., at the Little League World Series.
With the bases loaded and fans chanting “Big Papi! Big Papi!” Trae McLemore hit a 1-1 pitch over the fence in center to cap Nashville’s 10-2 victory over Corpus Christi, Texas, in an elimination game Saturday. McLemore, who was nicknamed in honor of Ortiz by his parents, finished with two hits and drove in six runs.
And he had his mother, Brenda Gonzalez, in tears as he rounded the bases in the top of the sixth.
“When I hit that grand slam, it was just energy running through my body,” said the 5-foot-11, 209-pound player. “It’s been one of my dreams to come and play in this tournament. Another one was to hit a home run. After that, I looked at my mom, and she was crying.”
Pausing, before breaking into a smile, McLemore added: “And I was like, ‘Oh, that’s awesome.’ ”
Ben Pickman struck out 10 and allowed three hits over five innings for Nashville (1-1), which stayed in contention in the double-elimination tournament. The Southeast champion opened with a 3-2 loss to Westport, Conn., on Thursday.
It was two-and-done for Corpus Christi (0-2), which failed to get its offense on track.
The Southwest champion will conclude the tournament playing Perth, Australia (0-2), in a consolation game Monday. Perth was eliminated following a 4-0 loss to San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, earlier in the day. Canada (1-1) stayed alive by hanging on to a 4-3 win over the Czech Republic (0-2).