SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Knox Carter has been hotter than the Georgia summer.
Nothing changed for the Northern left fielder Saturday as he took his long-ball show on the road to the Little League World Series in a much more tolerable Pennsylvania late summer day.
The Columbus all-stars opened the tournament with a 6-2 victory over Hawaii on Saturday in historic Lamade Stadium.
And you can thank Carter, the second cousin of 2006 Northern star Kyle Carter, for some early-game heroics.
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The game was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the first when Carter came to the plate to face Hawaii pitcher Noah Shackles. Brandon Pugh had just erased an early two-run deficit with a single that pushed a couple of runs across.
Carter got a fastball from Shackels.
He sent it deep over the right-field wall.
“When I saw it come off the bat, I knew it was going,” Carter said.
That home run held up because of solid pitching from Jacob Pate and Troy Gilliland.
The win earns Northern a day off. The team will not play again until 6 p.m. Monday against Great Lakes champion Ohio.
The game will be in Volunteer Stadium and televised on ESPN2.
Northern manager Randy Morris issued this warning to anyone wanting to start drawing comparisons to the 2006 team he coached to the World Series title.
“We’re a different team,” Morris said.
But it is a team Morris likes a lot.
“We’re just a bunch of scrappy kids trying to get it done,” he said.
They got it done in front of 25,754 jammed into Lamade. And there were millions more watching the nationally televised game on ABC.
Before coming to Williamsport, Carter talked to his cousin and some others on the 2006 team.
After experiencing his first game here, their descriptions were accurate, Carter said.
“This is every thing they said it was.”