- MORESPORTS - Japan will face Florida for championship

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Saturday, August 25
Japan will face Florida for championship

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Atsushi Mochizuki hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to give Tokyo Kitasuna a 2-1 victory over Willemstad, Curacao, in the international championship of the Little League World Series.

Facing a 2-0 count, Mochizuki shot the ball 240 feet -- the outfield wall at Howard J. Lamade Stadium is 205 feet -- to center field. Yousuki Nomura reached base earlier on a swinging bunt.

Nomura (1-0) got the win, entering the game in the sixth and retiring all three batters, including a strikeout for the final out. Erick Rafael (1-2) took the loss.

The teams had met in pool play with Japan taking a 4-2 win after Tatsuya Suzuki hit a three-run homer in the first inning.

Japan will play Apopka, Fla., in Sunday's championship game. Both teams are 4-1.

Argentis Daal scored the game's first run, coming home on a line drive to right field. Daal reached base on an infield single and advanced to second when Neldrick Martis walked. He then scored when Farley Daal -- they're not related -- hit an RBI single.

Netherlands Antilles had chances to increase its lead, but couldn't convert. Runners were stranded on second and third when Dinyor Antonia's fly ball to center field was caught at the warning track to end the first inning. Runners also were stranded in scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings.

Michelangelo Trinidad hit a long fly ball to center field in the first inning, but Masayuki Itoh made the catch on the warning track to end the inning.

Japan struggled to get its offense going after stranding two batters in the first inning. Natsuki Sugisawa hit a double in the fifth inning, then reached third on Yohei Kawasaki's single, but both were stranded.

Weather permitting, a consolation game will be played Sunday between Netherlands Antilles (3-2) and the Rolando Paulino team from the Bronx (4-1).


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