SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. &
Down to his last strike with his team on the brink of elimination, Deion Rosalia stayed calm and settled himself at the plate.
The next pitch, a fastball, looked inviting, and the 13-year-old swung.
When the ball sailed over the right-field fence, Rosalia had a three-run homer and Willemstad, Curacao, had a stunning 4-2 extra-inning win Thursday over Maracaibo, Venezuela, at the Little League World Series.
Curacao advances to Saturday's international championship game against Tokyo, Japan which beat Taichung, Taiwan, 4-3 in another extra-inning thriller. Junsho Kiuchi's homer to left ended it in the bottom of the 10th.
Venezuela and Taiwan are eliminated.
Also Thursday, Lubbock, Texas, beat Lake Oswego, Ore., 8-2 to advance to the U.S. championship game against Warner Robins, Ga., which routed Chandler, Ariz., 16-6. Oregon and Arizona are eliminated.
Lubbock, Texas 8, Lake Oswego 2
Bryndan Arredondo hit a three-run homer in the third as undefeated Lubbock (3-0) rallied from an early deficit to defeat Lake Oswego (2-2).
"Oh yeah, I knew it was out," Arredondo said about his blast.
Calvin Hermanson's two-run single in the second gave Oregon a 2-0 lead before Texas scored four runs in the third.
Reliever Garrett Williams allowed Hermanson's single, but was otherwise dominant.
After recording all 17 outs in his first appearance by strikeout, Williams struck out the first six batters he faced against Lake Oswego. When Reid Penney flew out in the fourth, it was the first time in the World Series that Williams recorded an out other than by strikeout.
Williams finished with 11 Ks against Oregon, which was eliminated.
"I expect to dominate, but sometimes I'm on and sometimes I'm not," Williams said. "I've just happened to be on this week."
Tokyo, Japan 4, Taichung, Taiwan —
Junsho Kiuchi raised his arms in triumph rounding first after his 10th-inning homer sailed over the left-field fence to give undefeated Japan (3-0) a dramatic victory.
Kiuchi got the win, too, after striking out nine in five-plus innings of relief.
After the game, however, his at-bats were the first topic of conversation.
"I could have hit it two other times, so the third time I wanted to get a hit to decide the game," he said through an interpreter.
Players for Taiwan (2-2) leaned down near the third-base line, heads hung down after the game, stunned after leading 2-0 early on. The game was an inning short of the longest Little League World Series contest ever played.
Japan tied the game at — with two out in the bottom of the sixth after Kazutaka Kato lined a hard shot to center that fell just in front of center fielder Chung-Yen Chen. The relay went to second, allowing Yuya Fukushima to score.
Kiuchi said he watched Rosalia's game-winner on TV. Asked which one was better, he smiled and answered shyly, "Of course, mine."
Warner Robins, Ga. 16, Chandler, Ariz. 6
Payton Purvis hit two, two-run blasts, including one in a seven-run fifth inning that ended the game early because of Little League's 10-run rule.
With some of the members of last year's title-winning team from Columbus, Ga., watching from the stands, Warner Robins (3-1) pounded out 14 hits against Chandler (2-2).
The first of Purvis' two homers rolled around inside a monument with the bust of Howard J. Lamade, the Little League stadium's namesake.
At practice last week, Purvis said he remarked to a couple teammates, "'Wouldn't it be cool if someone hit that guy in the face?' It's funny I was the one to do it."
Little League World Series final 4 set; Oregon ousted
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. &