Texas Reaches U.S. Semifinals at LLWS
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ It took a while for the Richmond, Texas, hitters to figure out Kip Skibicki and his quirky motion.
Once they did, Wilmington, Del., never had a chance.
Richmond batted around in a seven-run fourth inning and beat Wilmington 7-1 Tuesday to advance to the U.S. semifinals of the Little League World Series.
Richmond will play unbeaten Saugus, Mass., on Thursday.
Venezuela moved into Wednesday’s international semifinals and Tokyo will play Mexico City in the other game on Thursday.
Venezuela beat Mexico City 6-2 to win its pool, and Tokyo beat Dhahran, Saudi Arabia 17-0 in four innings to win the other international pool.
Tuesday’s late games had Nova Scotia against Netherlands Antilles, and Eldridge, Iowa, against Chandler, Ariz.
David Mastro homered in the first inning, and Skibicki helped Wilmington hold a 1-0 lead through three innings.
``He’s an effective pitcher,″ Richmond manager Jim Michalek said. ``His delivery is sort of a sling-action-type motion. It looked like we were kind of jamming ourselves, so we backed off the plate.″
In the fourth, Richmond had seven hits _ including an RBI double by Wayne Willis and RBI singles from Jimmy Michalek and Cody Robinson.
``We just got used to where he was throwing the ball and how. We adjusted,″ said Robert Psenka, who had a leadoff double and a walk in the fourth.
Despite Richmond’s big inning, Wilmington manager Joe Mascelli kept Skibicki on the mound. Vince Russomagno eventually relieved in the fifth.
``He was tiring,″ Mascelli said of Skibicki, ``but I wanted to let him get through it. I wouldn’t have let it go too much longer ... I’m glad he pitched through it.″
Japan 17, Netherlands Antilles 0
Shigeki Umeda, Masato Komuro, Ippei Endoh and Yuutaro Tanaka combined for a perfect game, each pitching one inning. Komuro (1-0) was the winner.
It was the first time more than one pitcher combined for a perfect game at the series and the first perfect game at the series since Kiyoshi Tsumura pitched one for Chofu, Japan, in 1976. Danny Almonte of Rolando Paulino Little League in the Bronx, N.Y., pitched a perfect game against Apopka, Fla., in 2001, but that game was erased from the record books when Little League learned Almonte was too old to play.
Tokyo (3-0) scored seven runs in the first inning.
The game was shortened because of a rule halting games in which a team is winning by at least 10 runs after four innings.
Venezuela 6, Mexico 2
Juan Rivera, Angel Reverol and Wilfredo Sanchez homered for Venezuela. Alejandro Manjarrez homered for Mexico, his third of the series.