The Little League World Series officially got underway on Wednesday, and there is already a massive favorite for an MVP (if you were able to bet on 12-year-olds).
Team Panama pitchers combined for a no-hitter in their 4-0 victory over the Czech Republic, but one player was the star of the show, looking like Panama's version of Shohei Ohtani.
All four of Panama's runs were driven in by Omar Vargas, thanks to his fourth inning grand slam.
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But that was just a smidgen of Vargas' Wednesday dominance in Williamsport.
Vargas also started on the hill for Team Panama and struck out 12 batters.
Even more impressive is that he only pitched four innings — that means every out he recorded was a strikeout.
Vargas threw 53 pitches, which means he will not be able to take the mound again until Sunday. If Panama defeats Latin America (San Francisco Little League in Maracaibo, Venezuela) on Friday, they will be off until Monday, giving Vargas full rest.
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However, if they lose, Vargas may have to pitch on three-day rest on Sunday to keep their season alive. Pitchers must get four days of rest if they throw at least 66 pitches.
Panama had long been part of the Latin American region for Little League but received its own bid last year. But according to Little League, they will have to earn a trip through the Latin American tournament again next year before receiving a direct entry in 2025 and 2026.
This year's Panama squad, from Activo 20-30 Little League in Santiago de Veraguas, earned their Little League World Series berth way back in February.
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Former MLB player Ruben Tejada played in the Little League World Series in 2001 representing Santiago de Veraguas Little League. Tampa Bay Rays' Christian Bethancourt was a member of the 2004 Panama team.