Davey-Jay Rijke makes a diving catch at the LLWS.
Screenshot from Twitter

Curaçao Little Leaguer's Diving Catch Puts Other Web Gems to Shame

After watching nearly every pitch of the first day of the 2022 Little League World Series, I can genuinely say there's one kid that stood out. Like, really stood out.

I didn't know Davey-Jay Rijke's name when he first took the mound for Curaçao in the LLWS opener against Nicaragua, but by the time the fourth inning rolled around, I'd say the entire world knew who he was.

It was with two outs in the fourth that Rijke made a sensational diving play that I'm not even sure most Major Leaguers would have been able to make.

Davey-Jay Rijke's Sensational LLWS Debut

I totally understand laying down a bunt on a pitcher like Rijke, because he was throwing some serious heat. But the fact that he can also field his position like this just isn't fair. His explosiveness off the mound, perfect path to the ball and full-extension form were all perfect. You have to simply tip your cap if you're a member of the Latin America team.

Rijke was fired up, as were the announcers, because the catch ended a potential big inning considering there were two runners on. That was pretty much all the opposing team could muster against Rijke, who had a fantastic day on the mound.

Rijke faced 18 batters and struck out 14 of them. His final line — 5 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits and 14 strikeouts — looked like something out of a video game.

Rijke dominated more than anyone else on Day 1 in Williamsport. He touched 78 mph with one fastball, which is equivalent to 101 mph in MLB speed considering Little League's mound distance. Nicaragua had virtually no chance of plating any runs against the fireballer.

It's still early in the tournament, but Curaçao is an early favorite to win the International Division, especially if it comes down to a battle of aces. I'll take Davey-Jay Rijke against anyone.

MORE: Indiana's Flamethrower, Kaden Hall, is the LLWS' Next Big Star