The "Baby Bombers" didn't look so little Saturday when 12-year-old Danny Almonte threw a game worthy of a New York Yankees starter—the first perfect game at the Little League World Series in 44 years.
The left-hander with a 70 miles-per-hour slider struck out 16 of 18 batters and was almost untouchable for five innings in leading the Rolando Paulino team from the Bronx, N.Y. to a 5-0 victory over Apopka, Fla. In the sixth and final inning, two batters were thrown out at first base before Almonte ended the game with a strikeout.
The Rolando Paulino team was dubbed the "Baby Bombers" after becoming the first team from the Bronx to reach the Little League World Series, taking after Major League Baseball's "Bronx Bombers," the New York Yankees.
Prior to Almonte's dominating performance, the Apopka team had hit 49 home runs in 21 games.
The tall, skinny Almonte now has 32 strikeouts in his last two games, the previous game being a 2-0 victory over State College, Pa. He rests his sunglasses on the brim of his cap like one of his heroes—fellow Dominican Sammy Sosa.
The five runs for the Bronx were scored by the first five batters, four of them on a grand slam by Carlos Garcia served up by Apopka's Stuart Tapley.
Tapley had walked the bases loaded, then hit Hector Rodriguez to drive in the first run. Tapley would recover to allow just one hit on the rest of the night.
The last perfect game in the Little League World Series was thrown by Angel Macias of Monterrey, Mexico, in the 1957 championship game against La Mesa Northern (California).
The only other pitcher who did not allow a batter to reach base was Fred Shapiro of Delaware Township (New Jersey) in 1956.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.