Thousand Oaks will play Curacao
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Cody Thomson pitched a one-hitter and had an RBI single to lead Conejo Valley of Thousand Oaks, Calif., to a 4-0 victory over Lamar National of Richmond, Texas, in the U.S. championship game of the Little League World Series on Saturday night.
California (5-0) advances to Sunday night's series championship against Pabao Little League of Willemstad, Curacao. Curacao (5-0) beat Linda Vista Little League of Guadalupe, Mexico, 4-0 in Saturday's international championship.
With a 72 mph fastball and a deceptive curveball, Thomson shut down a Texas team that came in batting .440, with six players at .500 or better, and had scored a series-best 51 runs in four games. Thomson struck out 12 on the way to his second win in the series.
Texas (4-1) almost scored in the second inning, twice getting runners to second base before Dustin Moehlig hit into a double play to end the inning. Texas had a runner at second again in the fourth, but Thomson struck out three of the next four batters.
Thomson's RBI single in the second, a chopper up the middle, scored the game's first run. He then scored on Hayden Cronenbold's RBI single to center field for a 2-0 lead.
Danny Leon singled to lead off the third and later scored on Jordan Brower's sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. John Lister scored on an infield error in the sixth for the game's final run.
Curacao 4, Mexico 0
Dimitri Eugenia's first hit at the Little League World Series -- a solo home run -- was enough to send Curacao to the championship game.
Curacao, which has played for the international title the last four years, advanced to the championship game for the first time.
Eugenia struck out in each of his five previous at-bats. But with two outs in the second, he sent the first pitch over the wall in right-center to give Curacao a 1-0 lead.
"After five strikeouts, the pitcher will not throw that hard," Eugenia said through an interpreter. "He just threw it over the middle, thinking he was going to strike me out again. I just hit it."
Mexico (3-2) threatened in the fourth, loading the bases when Jurickson Profar walked two and the infield failed to make the play on a fielder's choice, but Profar struck out Felipe Martinez to retire the side and end the threat. Mexico had two on with one out in the fifth, but Profar struck out one and the last batter hit into a fielder's choice.
"The manager asked if I could strike out the batter, and I did it," Profar said.
Profar (2-0) struck out 12; Ismael Garcia (0-1) took the loss.
Carlos Pineda hit a two-run homer in the fourth -- his third home run of the series -- to make it 3-0. Jonathan Schoop's RBI double in the fifth made it 4-0.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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