Mexico advances to international championship game

Updated: August 24, 2006, 2:08 AM ET
SportsTicker

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. --Josue Barron and Roberto Guajardo powered Matamoros, Mexico, into the International championship at the Little League World Series.

Barron and Guajardo each smacked a three-run homer as Matamoros breezed to an 11-0 rout of Lara, Venezuela.

The game ended after just four innings because of the mercy rule.

"I had no idea it [the win] was going to be so easy," Matamoros manager Candelario Perez said. "It gives us a higher level of confidence that we can be successful at the next level."

The second-place finisher in Pool D, Matamoros will face either Asian champion Kawaguchi City (Japan) or Transatlantic winner Dhahran (Saudi Arabia) in the International final on Saturday.

Jose Segoviano opened the scoring with a two-run homer in a three-run first inning. Barron's blast highlighted a four-run second inning, and Guajardo's shot put the game out of reach in a four-run third.

"I didn't predict [imagine] I would hit a home run," Barron said. "I was a little surprised to hit it so far but I'm thankful to God it went out."

The Mexican squad has scored 23 runs in its last three games.

Matamoros starter Omar Zamora tossed a three-hitter, striking out 11 without a walk.

"When we scored so many runs it calmed me down and gave me confidence knowing that I had that cushion," Zamora said.

Lara counterpart Manuel Barrios surrendered five runs -- three earned -- and four hits in one-plus inning.

The Latin American champion, Lara was eliminated after suffering its first loss of the LLWS. It had gone 3-0 to win Pool C.