The Washington Nationals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 (box score) on Sunday night in the sixth annual Little League Classic. As is tradition, the game was played at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Here's an updated look at all-time Little League Classic results:
- 2017: Pittsburgh Pirates 6, St. Louis Cardinals 3
- 2018: New York Mets 8, Philadelphia Phillies 2
- 2019: Chicago Cubs 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
- 2021: Cleveland now-Guardians 3, Los Angeles Angels 0
- 2022: Baltimore Orioles 5, Boston Red Sox 3
- 2023: Washington Nationals 4, Philadelphia Phillies 3
Do note that the 2020 Little League Classic was not played on account of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Here are four other things to know about the Little League Classic.
1. Nationals jumped ahead early
The Nationals opened up the bottom of the first inning with five consecutive hits against Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler.
CJ Abrams singled to lead off the game for the Nationals. Lane Thomas and Joey Meneses each followed up with singles of their own. Keibert Ruiz then plated a pair of runs with a double before scoring (alongside Meneses) on a single off Dominic Smith's bat.
Here's Ruiz's hit in all its moving picture glory:
Just like that, the Nationals had a 4-0 lead.
The Phillies would save their rally for the ninth inning. Brandon Marsh singled in a run with two outs and two strikes to break up the shutout bid. Jake Cave then launched a two-run shot to pull the Phillies within one. Kyle Finnegan would then get J.T. Realmuto to strike out to end the game.
2. Players attended Little League games
As is part of the Little League Classic custom, the big-league players weren't just in Williamsport to play a game. They also attended a Little League contest earlier in the day, where they rooted on the players of tomorrow.
Take a look:
The MLB players also found time to speak with the youngsters, and join them in sliding down a hill:
3. Harper, others used custom bats
One of the cooler aspects of the Little League Classic was how several players used bats that showed more personality than their usual pieces of lumber.
Phillies star Bryce Harper broke out a Phillies Phanatic-themed bat. Teammate Bryson Stott used a bat designed to look like a No. 2 pencil. And Nationals slugger Joey Meneses had his bat painted to resemble a blue crayon.
4. Yankees-Tigers slated for 2024 Little League Classic
Major League Baseball announced on Sunday afternoon that the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers will play in the 2024 Little League Classic. That's scheduled to occur on August 18 for those wanting to make plans in advance.