Washington advances to semis after topping Indiana in seventh inning
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- A towel draped around his neck, Jason Todd flashed a smile from ear to ear.
Faced with elimination from the Little League World Series for the second straight game, Mill Creek, Wash., came through in the clutch. Alex Jondal drove home Todd on a deep single to left field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give Washington a thrilling 3-2 win Tuesday to advance to the U.S. semifinals.
"I was just ecstatic, going on off a walk-off at the Little League World Series," the 12-year-old Todd said about scoring the winning run. "I'll remember it the rest of my life."
The boys from Washington have become experts at staving off elimination. They beat Maryland 15-5 in a crucial game Monday when Todd went 4-for-4 and added four RBIs.
On Tuesday, he teamed with Jondal to form a potent duo at the plate and on the field. Todd started the game and threw 11 strikeouts to Jondal, the catcher.
Down 2-1, Jondal doubled home Todd with two outs in the bottom of the fifth for the tying run.
Two innings later they were in the same situation.
Todd walked, then went to second on a wild pitch and reached third on a throwing error. After Indiana reliever Christopher Wenger got a strikeout, Jondal came up and hit his deep single to the warning track that fell just out of reach of left fielder Brad Koerner.
Todd pumped his fist as he crossed the plate while jubilant teammates mobbed Jondal at first base.
"I was thinking that I had to shorten up my swing and get a hit so we could win," Jondal said with a grin.
Indiana finished 0-3, but manager Derek Ellis said just getting to the World Series was a big enough accomplishment.
"Not many kids can say they played at the Little League World Series playing against the top teams in the United States," Ellis said. "Jeffersonville, Ind., is one of them and will be forever be associated with that."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press