Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date/Time: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012, 3:00pm ETThe West Regional champs from Petaluma, Calif., almost allowed the New England champs from Fairfield, Conn., to slowly comeback on Thursday at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, but came ahead with a 6-4 win.
Pitcher Bradley Smith hammered a 2-run home run in the top of the third inning, bringing Logan Douglas in and giving the West the lead, 3-1. It put New England in a hole early it had trouble getting out of.
“I was scared to swing because it was a 2-0 curve ball, but you can’t get nervous in these games. You’re one of the top 16 teams in the world. You have to just go out there and have fun,” Smith said.
That’s exactly what he did.
Austin Paretti hit a two-RBI single in the top of the fifth inning, bringing Danny Marzo and Smith home and increasing the lead to 5-2 for the West.
Will Lucas started a 2-run rally for New England by smashing an RBI triple to right field, allowing Daniel Kiernam to score. Unfortunately, this was the end of the road for New England despite its comeback efforts and Biagio Paoletta’s home run in the first inning.
Porter Slate and Marzo made a double play at the bottom of the sixth inning that secured the win for Petaluma.
“Any double play is a big play, but especially when you’re only up by one,” Manager Eric Smith said.
The West champions will continue on to play in the winners' bracket against the winner of the Midwest/Southeast game on Sunday at 2 p.m. New England plays in the losers' bracket against the loser of the Midwest/Southeast game on Saturday at 3 p.m.