The latest in must-see sports television? Thirteen-year-old Little League pitcher Mo'ne Davis.
With Davis pitching for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons on Wednesday night — her team lost 8-1 to Las Vegas — ESPN set a new record for the most-watched Little League World Series telecast ever to air on its network. The game drew 4,988,000 viewers and peaked between 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET with 5,585,000 viewers.
The previous viewership record for a Little League World Series game on ESPN was set on August 23, 2001 when322,000 viewers watched Oceanside, Calif. against a team from the Bronx, N.Y. featuring Danny Almonte.
This week, Davis became the first Little Leaguer to grace the national cover of Sports Illustrated after throwing the first shutout by a girl in Little League World Series history, a two-hitter in which she struck out eight in a 4-0 win over Nashville last Friday.
Locally, the game did incredible numbers. The matchup drew a 16.3 rating in Las Vegas and a 14.9 rating in Philadelphia, both records for Little League World Series telecasts in those markets.
Philadelphia and Chicago will meet at 7:30 tonight on ESPN in an elimination game. If Philadelphia wins, Davis will be eligible to pitch on Saturday in a rematch against Las Vegas.
GALLERY: SI'S BEST PHOTOS OF MO'NE DAVIS
Mo'ne Davis takes the Little League World Series by storm
Thirteen-year-old sensation Mo'ne Davis, who plays for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, has captured the nation's attention with her performance at the Little League World Series. SI made the 5-foot-4 inch, 111-pound eighth grader the cover subject of this week's issue and sent a photographer to South Williamsport to follow her and the team. Here are the best shots from that assignment.