Pittsburgh Pirates Win Inaugural MLB Little League Classic vs Cardinals

WILLIAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 20: Starting pitcher Ivan Nova
WILLIAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 20: Starting pitcher Ivan Nova /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates won their second consecutive game on Sunday night

On Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals did battle in the inaugural Major League Baseball Little League Classic. This game was played in Williamsport, as part of the activities surrounding the Little League World Series. In front of a crowd of Little League World Series participants, the Pirates were victorious by a score of 6-3.

With the win, the Pirates are now 60-64 this season. This victory also gave them a split of their four-game series against the Cardinals.

The Pittsburgh Pirates struck first with a big bottom of the 1st inning off long-time Pirate killer Mike Leake.

Starling Marte singled to start the inning and he went to third on a Josh Harrison double. After a RBI groundout by Andrew McCutchen made it 1-0 Pirates, Josh Bell launched his 21st home run of the season. This made it 3-0 Pirates.

Yadier Molina singled to start the top of the 2nd inning, this would spark a Cardinal rally. Jedd Gyorko then launched a two-run home run to cut the Pirate lead to 3-2.

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Starling Marte, Josh Harrison, and Andrew McCutchen hit three consecutive singles to load the bases with no one out in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Then, Josh Bell collected a two-run single to make it 5-2 Pirates.

Then with one-out, Adam Frazier blooped a ball in front of Dexter Fowler. Fowler failed to make the catch, it bounced over his head, McCutchen scored, and it was 6-2 Pirates. This would be the score after 3 innings.

To start the top of the 4th inning Yadier Molina reached on an error by Josh Harrison. Jedd Gyorko then hit a double to put runners on second and third with no one out. Ivan Nova then struck out Kolten Wong looking, Randal Grichuk swinging, and got pinch-hitter Jose Martinez to ground out to end the inning.

Martinez’s groundout spelled the end of the night for Mike Leake. In 3 innings pitched he allowed 6 runs on 8 hits and a home run.

The score remained 6-2 until the top of the 6th inning. A Yadier Molina double and a RBI single by Kolten Wong cut the Pirate lead to 6-3. It also brought Ivan Nova’s night to an end as A.J. Schugel replaced him. Schugel would strikeout Randal Grichuk to end the inning.

In 5 2/3 innings pitched Ivan Nova allowed 3 runs on 8 hits. He did not walk a batter, struck out 5, and allowed a home run.

Schugel remained in the game in the top of the 7th inning. Schugel allowed a single to Greg Garcia to start the inning and then walked Stephen Piscotty with one-out. This led to Schugel being lifted for Dovydas Neverauskas.

Neverauskas got Paul DeJong to groundout for the second out of the inning. He then struck out Dexter Fowler looking to end the inning.

After the Pirates were retired in order in the bottom of the 7th inning, it was Juan Nicasio time in the top of the 8th inning. With the help of a 6-4-3 double play, Nicasio posted a zero in the 8th inning.

Felipe Rivero entered the game in the 9th inning looking to lock down a Pirate victory. Rivero allowed a walk to Tommy Pham and a single to Stephen Piscotty, but he was able to put the Cardinals away to close out the 6-3 Pirate victory.

Sunday was a perfect day in Williamsport. It showed why baseball is the greatest sport in the world. The Little League World Series players were able to meet and spend the day with Major Leauge players on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. To top it all off, the Pittsburgh Pirates were victorious on Sunday.

Hopefully, Major League Baseball makes the Little League Classic a yearly event.

Next: Marte's Offense Starting to Return

Tomorrow, the Pittsburgh Pirates start a four-game series against the best team in baseball the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gerrit Cole will get the ball for the Pirates, while the Dodgers hand the ball to Alex Wood. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 on Monday night.

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