Japan battles back from 3-0 first-inning deficit to beat Curacao

Updated: August 17, 2007, 7:30 PM ET
Associated Press

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Tokyo rallied from a 3-0 first-inning deficit to defeat Willemstad, Curacao, 10-3 on Friday.

Kanta Hiraide hit a liner to the left field wall with the bases loaded to cap a six-run third inning for the Tokyo Kitasuna squad from Japan.

This is the first year that Japan's national Little League tournament winner automatically qualified for South Williamsport. Japan (1-0) hadn't played a game since July 21 and looked a little rusty before the offense kicked in.

The Pabao Little League team from Curacao (0-1) isn't a slouch either. A team from that league has qualified for the series seven straight years, winning a title in 2004.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press