Kashima, Japan 6, Guadalupe, Mexico 1
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ Brad Frank capped the longest game in Little League World Series history with an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning as Toms River, N.J., beat Jenison, Mich., 13-9 Sunday night.
The 3-hour, 11 minute-game topped in both time and innings the 2-hour, 51-minute, nine-inning marathon between Tainan, China, and Gary, Ind.
Jenison’s Derek Stempin hit two home runs, including a two-out, two-strike solo shot to force extra innings.
In Sunday’s other game, 12-year-old Sayaka Tsushima became the first girl to play for the Far East team in the World Series, going 1-for-2 with a single, walk and two runs scored as Kashima, Japan, defeated the defending champions from Guadalupe, Mexico, 6-1.
Jenison and Toms River went back and forth early, and Jenison led 8-7 after the third.
Frank had an RBI single in the fifth to tie the game 8-8 and Joe Franceschini’s RBI hit gave Toms River the lead in the sixth. After Stempin’s homer tied it again, both teams went on a four-inning drought.
Toms River finally took the lead for good in the 11th. Frank’s single up the middle drove in Chris Cardone with the go-ahead run and two more scored when shortstop Sean Markle allowed Gabe Gardner’s grounder to go through his legs.
Casey Robrahn walked Casey Gaynor with the bases loaded to force in the final run.
Billy Miller hit a two-run homer for Jenison, and Toms River’s Todd Frazier hit a 250-foot grand slam in the third.
While Toms River and Jenison were slugging it out, Sayaka was beaming over her accomplishments.
``I’m very happy,″ Sayaka said through an interpreter.
Sayaka has played baseball for about 2 1/2 years and is one of the team’s best athletes. She also plays golf and soccer.
``She’s the No. 1 fighter on the team,″ manager Atsushi Ohkawa said also through an interpreter.
Starting pitcher Tetsuya Furukawa was the best player Sunday. He gave up four hits, struck out seven and tripled, doubled and drove in a run.
``The whole game I was satisfied,″ Ohkawa said. ``The pitcher pitched the whole game with patience.″
Kashima scored two runs in the second on a passed ball and two wild pitches by Guadalupe’s Daniel Lopez. A pair of throwing errors on a sacrifice bunt in the fifth made it 3-0, before Furukawa’s RBI double.
Another passed ball and Tomoyuki Okawa’s RBI single gave Kashima a 6-0 lead.
``Sometimes, when they’re down, they can come back, but today wasn’t one of those days,″ manager Jose Valdez said.
Jose Oregel’s sixth-inning home run provided the only run for Guadalupe.
The Latin American champions stranded seven runners. They threatened in the fourth and fifth, but Furukawa ended both innings with strikeouts.
Guadalupe returns three players from the 1997 championship team, and a coach, Jose Valadez, is now the manager. Only one team has won consecutive titles on the field: Monterrey, Mexico _ a town just a few miles from Guadalupe _ in 1957-58.
In 1992, after losing 15-4, Long Beach, Calif. was credited with a 6-0 championship victory when the Philippines was stripped of the title for using over-age and ineligible players. Long Beach defeated Panama in the finals one year later to reclaim the crown.
The top two teams in both the U.S. pool and international pool meet Thursday with a trip to the finals at stake. The championship is Saturday.
``The first win is very valuable,″ Ohkawa said. ``If we win in the first game it makes it much easier to keep the pitchers in rotation and keep the kids animated.″