Venezuela rolls to become first 2-0 LLWS team

Texas, Japan, Pennsylvania also emerge victorious

Venezuela rolls to become first 2-0 LLWS team

The last seven champions of the Little League World Series have started 2-0, raising the importance of Sunday's four-game slate between the eight teams that were victorious in their opening games Friday.

Venezuela rode a dominant pitching performance from starter Luis Castillo to become the first team to start 2-0, and Pennsylvania ended the day with a dramatic walkoff victory.

Venezuela 7
Uganda 0
A first-inning grand slam by Joel Flores gave Venezuela an early lead and it never looked back, dominating Uganda to improve to 2-0. Venezuela added a three-run fifth inning for good measure, which was more than enough run support behind a stellar effort from Castillo.

Castillo dominated from the start, carrying a no-hitter until the fifth inning and holding Uganda's lineup to one hit and one walk in a 14-strikeout shutout. Castillo also collected two hits, including a two-run home run in the fifth in an impressive all-around day.

Texas 8
California 4
Texas improved to 2-0, thanks to a five-run rally in the third inning, which included a two-run home run from Raffi Gross. California mounted a small rally in the sixth on Dante Schmid's three-run homer, but were unable to add more.

Texas' Ben Gottfried delivered a stellar performance on the mound, surrendering one run in 4 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts. He also added a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning.

Gross doubled Texas' 2-0 lead in the third, driving an inside pitch over the left-field wall.

Japan 3
Mexico 1
Japan jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead on Kabu Kikuchi's two-out single and cruised to its second win. Fukutaro Kiyomiya provided an insurance run with a pinch-hit solo homer in the fifth, and though Gerardo Lujano broke the shutout with a solo blast to lead off the sixth, Mexico couldn't get any closer .

Japan starting pitcher Nobuyuki Kawashima took advantage of the early lead, tossing four scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out five before giving way to Daiki Fukuyama, who pitched the final two frames.

Pennsylvania 9
South Carolina 8
Pennsylvania won a wild game on Jaden Henline's walkoff two-run double in the bottom of the sixth, after Kaden Peifer had started the frame with a solo homer to pull his team within one. Ethan Phillips' three-run double had helped Pennsylvania jump out to an early 6-0 lead, but South Carolina battled back with four runs in the fourth -- three on an Alex Edmondson homer -- and four more in the sixth, taking the lead on a two-out, three-run triple from Brock Myers.

Henline had a rough time on the mound, entering in the sixth and allowing four runs to give up the lead. But he soon made up for it, coming to the plate with the bases loaded, no outs and a one-run deficit and lining a pitch down the left-field line to end the game. He finished 2-for-3.

Four teams will be eliminated from the LLWS on Monday -- games will pit teams that staved off elimination on Saturday against those that lost for the first time on Sunday. The action begins at 2 p.m. ET, with Australia facing Mexico. South Carolina will take on Kentucky at 4 p.m., Uganda will battle Chinese Taipei at 6 p.m., and Rhode Island will clash with California at 8 p.m.

The winners of those four games then will play each other in a pair of elimination contests on Tuesday, while Sunday's victors get to rest until Wednesday.

Jamal Collier is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.