Will Lucas threw a no-hitter to lead Fairfield, Conn., past New Castle, Ind., 4-0 Monday night at the Little League World Series.
The 12-year-old right-hander struck out 13 and also had a two-run single in the fifth. When it was over, he pumped his fist high in the air before falling to the ground as his teammates piled on top of him near the mound.
"Once I saw him in the bullpen, I knew it was going to be a good night," catcher Biagio Paoletta said.
Matt Kubel homered for Connecticut, which will play California in a rematch on Tuesday night. Connecticut lost the first matchup 6-4 last week.
Lucas said he was aware of his no-hit bid during the game, in part because Kubel mentioned it to him in the dugout during the game.
"You know you're not supposed to do that, right," manager Bill Meury said as he looked over at Kubel. The 13-year-old first baseman grinned as he nodded sheepishly.
One out away from completing the no-hitter, Lucas was surrounded by his infielders for an impromptu conference on the mound.
Lucas changed speeds effectively all night, and third baseman Kevin Oricoli dared him to mix it up even more by throwing a knuckleball.
Not a chance, Lucas said.
"If it was hit, he'd probably run out ... and tackle me to the ground," said Lucas, an ice pack strapped to his potent right shoulder.
Indiana was eliminated with the loss.
"I think we did some really good things here," manager Tim Porter said. "At the end of the day life is a lot bigger than baseball. ... We would have liked to win this thing, but we didn't."