Homer Lifts Hawaii to LLWS Win
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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ Travis Jones wasn’t trying to win the game when he swung at his fourth pitch in the bottom of the sixth. He got the game-winner anyway.
Jones bounced a home run off the top of the wall in left-center field to lift Waipahu, Hawaii, to a 3-2 victory over Worcester, Mass., in the opening game of the Little League World Series on Friday.
Also Friday, Brendon Baker scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, a 3-2 victory over Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Webb City, Mo., and Fort Worth, Texas, were playing in the late game.
With one out and an 0-2 count, Jones fouled on his third pitch, then sent the fourth delivery deep to left-center. It bounced on the yellow padding atop the wall, then fell over for a home run.
``It just looked like any other pitch,″ Jones said. ``I just swung at it.″
But the hit wasn’t a surprise to Waipahu manager Clyde Tanabe, who said Jones has made a habit out of making big plays. ``Travis has been doing it all year long,″ Tanabe said.
Worcester tied the game in the fifth when Keith Landers’ bases-loaded chopper drove in Kurt Sabacinksi. Micah Golshirazian, pinch running for Ben Landers, scored the first run on Gordie Lockbaum’s line-drive double to right.
``When you’re pitching, you can’t let that affect you,″ said Kurt Tanabe, who came back by throwing three strikeouts in the top of the sixth.
Waipahu had not yet put a man on base when Tanabe, leading off the fourth, swung away with a 1-2 count, sending the ball over the center field wall and giving Hawaii a 1-0 lead. Isaac Moises followed that with a single, then advanced to second on an error. Cory Yuh’s grounder up the center field gap brought Moises home.
Tanabe had 12 strikeouts and gave up just three hits to earn the win. Frank Flynn took the loss.
Waipahu’s shortstop, Kelsey Outram, left the game in the second inning after a pitch hit his left hand. Little League spokesman Lance Van Auken said there was some bruising, and Outram was taken to a hospital for X-rays.
Saudi Arabia 3, Canada 2
Baker walked to open the bottom of the seventh and advanced to third on successive wild pitches by losing pitcher Shawn Wilyman.
Colin Gallacher struck out, however, and the ball deflected off catcher Corey Dawson’s glove, allowing Saudi Arabia to win 3-2 over Canada.
Craig Lumpa led the winners with two singles.