Originally written on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 8/18/12

Yesterday, the best catch (and possibly the best game) in all of baseball did not happen in any of the thirty Major League Baseball parks. It happened in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Little League World Series is back in full force.

Outfielder Thomas Neal had a lunging catch to rival anything you would see on SportsCenter. He saved an extra-base hit and help Vancouver, British Columbia, to beat Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, 13-9. The game itself was a bit of a slugfest. The teams combined for 27 hits. However, several defensive gems by Canada had fans buzzing. Many of those fans were Major League Baseball players and Twitter was their giant foam finger. Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles tweeted about Neal’s play, “That might be the catch of the year so far in all of baseball.”

Mexico’s Eduardo Abrego smacked a sinking liner to left-center with two outs in the third. With a runner on first, Neal dashed first to his right. Then, he dove for the catch with an outstretched glove. The ball hit his glove, just as his body hit the turf.

“The moment I saw it, I just had this feeling he was going to catch it,” said Vancouver’s pitcher Ataru Yamaguchi. Ben Revere of the Minnesota Twins tweeted, “O wow top ten play just made from the center fielder on the Canada team!!! That was pretty legit!!”

If you haven’t seen this catch, find it on YouTube. Revere has a point. The 13-year-old outfielder let out a well-deserved roar before being mobbed by teammates on his way back to the dugout.

“I told him he was my best friend now,” the 13-year-old Yamaguchi joked. “He wasn’t before. He was my fourth (best friend), just to clarify.” Speaking of clarification, if I (Trish Vignola) had just lost an 8-1 lead in the top of the second, Thomas Neal would be my new best friend as well.

You have to give credit to Mexico though. They never gave up. After starting the second with a seven run deficit, they rallied with the long ball. Ramon Ballina hit two homers alone.

Mexico manager Fernando Rios kept the message simple in encouraging his players after they fell behind. “Basically our work is to cheer them up and to tell them not to give up,” he said through interpreter Sergio Guzman. “And not to be impatient at the plate. Just hit some good baseballs.”

Man, if Bobby Valentine only had it that easy. Come to think of it, maybe Rios has it harder. I doubt Josh Beckett breaks down into tears when things go wrong…a lot.

By the third, Mexico had surged back and made it a competitive game. Mike Trout of the Angels tweeted “Wow 10-8 in the 3rd inning lol”. Canada was not going down without a fight though.

Canada escaped yet another jam in the sixth to hold on with Neal again in the spotlight. He caught a hard liner to center. On a side note, he nearly threw the ball into the infield expecting runners to tag before realizing it was the last out of the game. Adorable.

Jorge Cantu did a good job straddling a diplomatic line between both Canada and Mexico. He tweeted “Wow what a catch!!” He then tweeted to Mike Trout, “he wana be spidey like u dawg ! Ha ! Go Mexico tho ! Keep raking.”

Thomas Neal wasn’t the only Canadian player impressing us with the glove. Third baseman Kolby Buljevic grabbed a tough bouncer to set up a double play just before Neal’s sparkling catch in the third. Left fielder Carter Kada-Wong later fell backward to catch a high fly that was made more difficult because of steady showers.

“Our defense has been the strongest point of our team,” said manager Vito Bordignon. You think? If Little League Team Canada was going head to head with the New York Mets, I might have to put my money on Canada. “We’ve made so many …. unbelievable plays.” Yes, Vito. According to the twitter accounts of a lot of Major Leaguers (as well as myself), you very much did. Go Team Canada. Go Team Mexico. You remind us all why this game is so very cool.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL executive lied to Patriots about inflation level of ball

Oregon unveils majestic display for Mariota's Heisman

Ravens OL's tiny Nissan out of place in team parking lot

Brazen Buckeye blocks Urban Meyer's car

Jaguars GM: Justin Blackmon's NFL career likely over

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Rays rookie hits first HR, gets ignored by teammates

Email shows Ravens tipped off Colts about deflated footballs

Report: Mexico in talks with Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job

Brady: Never thought about air pressure until refs inflated to 16 PSI

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

WATCH: Alex Wood lost grip mid-pitch, called for balk

Fabricio Werdum open to rematch with Fedor

Poker pro Daniel Negreanu wants to partially own Vegas NHL team

Penn State modernizes with new shield logo

UT preview: Why the Volunteers can win the national title

WATCH: Jordan embarrassed by camper over his shoes

Rice: 'I can understand why some people will never forgive me'

Rod Marinelli: “Fortunate” to go through 0-16 season with Lions

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins gets big ovation in return to Philly

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker