SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) – Dante Bichette Jr. is certainly making a name for himself at the Little League World Series.

Unfortunately for him, Michael Memea and the other West Oahu sluggers are turning in star performances themselves in South Williamsport.

West Oahu of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, jumped out to an early lead thanks in part to Memea’s second homer of the series en route to a 10-0 win over Bichette and his Maitland, Fla., teammates.

Both teams have clinched berths into the next round of the 10-day tournament, though West Oahu’s imposing lineup of big boppers and aggressive baserunners makes them a favorite in the U.S. bracket.

Also Monday, Mexico shut out Russia 7-0; Japan defeated Venezuela 7-4; Curacao beat Saudi Arabia 3-0; and Council Rock-Newtown of Newtown, Pa., routed Davenport (Iowa) Northwest, 15-0 behind a four-inning no-hitter by Keith Terry Jr.

Bichette was one of the few bright spots on the day for Maitland, getting two of the four hits off West Oahu ace Alaka’i Aglipay and continuing his stellar performance in the tournament.

On Friday, Bichette struck out 11 batters and hit a three-run homer late in a 7-3 win over Davenport, Iowa. On Saturday, he started a two-run first-inning rally and added an insurance run in the fifth with a solo homer to defeat Newtown, 3-1.

Both games were played in prime-time in front of a national television audience.

He’s even sharpened his post-game interview skills, thanks to some help from his parents while traveling to Pennsylvania.

“I wasn’t very good at it,” he said. “I just said some one-word answers.”

Bichette’s father, who is a coach for Maitland, has some experience in the spotlight: Dante Bichette hit 274 home runs during a 14-year major league career.

With similar faces, the Bichettes would be recognizable as father and son even if they weren’t wearing baseball uniforms.

Little Dante’s dreams of playing in South Williamsport took hold two years ago on a trip to the Little League World Series with his father. They were just spectators then.

“I said to my dad I want to do that some day,”‘ Bichette Jr. said.

Since then, Bichette says he’s been working with his son and teammates. Like most coaches, he does a little of everything in practice – throw baseballs in the batting nets, position fielders and help on pitching mechanics.

Council Rock-New. 15, Davenport Northwest 0

Greg Guers homered on the first pitch of the bottom of the first, Blaise Lezynski added a pair of two-run homers and Keith Terry Jr. didn’t allow a hit as Newtown (1-2) pounded Davenport (0-3) in a game shortened by the 10-run mercy rule. Terry Jr. also homered and doubled in two runs and Benn Parker added a two-run blast for Newtown, which batted around twice in the game. Newtown had six home runs.

Terry Jr. pitched the 13th no-hitter since Little League pool play began in 1992.

Mexico 7, Russia 0

Julio Arciniega threw a four-hitter, Nordan Gomez scored twice and Mexicali, Mexico, peppered Moscow’s pitching with 11 hits.

Mexico (1-1), represented by Seguro Social from Mexicali, scored three times in the second inning to increase an early lead to 4-0 on Russia (0-2), the European champion.

Japan 7, Venezuela 4

Yuki Mizuma struck out six batters and belted a solo home run to lead Chiba City, Japan (3-0) past Valencia, Venezuela (0-2), and clinch a spot in the next round.

Mizuma came into the game in relief of Shuhei Iwata after Venezuela tied the game at 4-4 in the fourth. He shut out Venezuela the rest of the way.

Curacao 3, Saudi Arabia 0

Sorick Liberia struck out nine batters and allowed just one hit to lead Willemstad, Curacao, past Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and into the next round.

Liberia, one of four returnees from last year’s Little League championship team, took a no-hitter into the top of the sixth inning before Alexander Robinett doubled over third base with two outs.

The only hit for Curacao (2-1) came in the sixth inning.

Curacao scored twice in the first off wild pitches, a walk, an error and a passed ball.


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