Long Beach, Calif. 6, Hamilton Square, N.J. 4
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ Ryan Stuart hit two home runs and Alex DeFazio added a bases-loaded triple Tuesday, lifting Long Beach, Calif., to a 6-4 victory over Hamilton Square, N.J., at the Little League World Series.
The victory made Long Beach a favorite for Thursday’s U.S. title game. It is the only unbeaten team in its bracket of the round-robin tournament.
″In this format, I don’t really see a front runner,″ Long Beach coach Jeff Burroughs said. ″But unless some really strange things happen, 2-1 should be a good enough record to get you in to the national championship.″
Long Beach pitcher Ryan Beaver walked 10 but finished with a complete game one-hitter.
DeFazio’s double in the top of the fourth gave Long Beach a 5-4 lead. The game-winning hit came after first baseman Adam Famoso let a grounder slip through his legs.
″We would have been out of the inning,″ Hamilton Square manager Jerry Conti said. ″We’re not a great hitting team, but we count of defense.″
Hamilton Square picked up its four runs in the bottom of the third without a base hit.
Beaver walked the bases loaded, Brandon Kivler reached on a error, scoring two, and two wild pitches allowed two more runs to score.
Beaver walked the bases loaded in the fifth before striking out Matt O’Neill and getting Chad Conti to pop to right field.
″He pitched a good game,″ Conti said. ″He was wild on occasions, but when he threw strikes we couldn’t hit him.″