Tennessee, Tokyo reach Little League title game
Goodlettsville, Tenn., gave up a 10-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning before scoring nine times in the seventh in a 24-16 victory...
Little League world
championship, noon, Ch. 4.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Goodlettsville, Tenn., gave up a 10-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning before scoring nine times in the seventh in a 24-16 victory Saturday over Petaluma, Calif., in the U.S. championship game at the Little League World Series.
Tennessee advanced to Sunday's world-championship showdown against Tokyo, which beat Aguadulce, Panama, 10-2 in the international final. Teams from Japan have reached the world final five times in the past seven years.
Only California's 10-run comeback to send the game into extra innings tied at 15 could overshadow Tennessee slugger Lorenzo Butler's extraordinary day at the plate. Butler set a LLWS record by driving in nine runs in the game; he hit three three-run homers.
The 12-year-old Butler looked calm in the dugout after each homer.
"Yes, sir, first time I hit three homers," he said after the game.
Cole Tomei had a two-run double in the sixth, and Hance Smith's solo shot with two out gave California an improbable 15-15 tie.
The teams combined for 40 runs — another LLWS record — and 35 hits in a game that lasted more than three hours.
"I can't believe it," Tennessee manager Joey Hale said. "I tell people this is like Christmas on steroids and I'm having a blast."