Tonight, Team Florida from Coral Springs (15-1) takes on the Texas representative (14-2).
Devin Campbell and Kyle Enders cleaned up pretty well Monday night on the opening day of the 1999 Little League Southern Regional. The 12-year-old teammates from Northwood American Little League in Taylors, S.C., did their best impressions of vacuum cleaners.
Campbell, a pitcher with a repertoire that includes a fastball, curveball and slider, was the Dust Buster. With every pitch, he ate up hitters from Valley Sports Little League out of Louisville, Ky.
Enders, a third baseman with lightning-quick reflexes, was the Hoover. He gobbled up every ball that came his way and made three stellar plays in the first two innings.
Together, they sparked the South Carolina state champions past the Kentucky state champions 5-1.
Campbell pitched a complete-game one-hitter. He tinkered with perfection before allowing a fourth-inning leadoff walk to Brennan Kemper, and he lost the shutout when Stuart Cripe hit a solo home run to centerfield later in the inning.
"That kind of made me mad," said Campbell (5-0).
Enders, who calls Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones his favorite player, also came through at the plate. He hit a two-run homer in the third inning to give South Carolina (8-0) a 3-0 lead.
Second-baseman Vince Hamilton, who started a key double play in the fourth, scored his second run of the game on the Enders homer. Campbell capped the three-run inning with a run after Joey Evans hit a sacrifice fly.
Jeremy Hakala added a run in the fourth for South Carolina.
"Our strength has been pitching and defense and that's what carried us tonight," South Carolina manager Jimmy Farotto said.
In other action, Georgia threw a one-hitter at Arkansas and scored two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings for a 4-0 win. It faces Alabama in today's 10 a.m. game.
Louisiana needed seven innings to get past Virginia 2-1. The South Lake Charles American Little League All-Stars won despite stranding 10 runners. It advanced to today's 3:30 game against North Carolina.
West Virginia provided the day's most offense, sending Mississippi to an 8-2 defeat. Mississippi took a 2-1 lead after the first inning, but only mustered three hits the rest of the way. The team from Barboursville, W.Va., awaits tonight's winner in the big Texas-Florida showdown at 7.
Team Florida, which hails from Coral Springs, is 15-1. It takes on Greater San Marcos Little League, which is 14-2. Both teams played more state tournament games than any of the remaining 11 teams in the Southern Regional.