Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date/Time: Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
In a game of big innings, New Castle, Ind., Little League defeated Bowling Green, Ky., Little League, 6-5, to win the Great Lakes regional championship on Friday afternoon and advance to the 2012 Little League World Series in South Williamsport next week.
New Castle, Ind., earns the second United States berth, joining San Antonio, Texas, who won the Southwest regional on Thursday night.
Kentucky came into the game 5-0 in regional finals. Both states went 2-2 through pool play at the Great Lakes regional tournament. This will be Indiana’s first Little League World Series appearance since 2008.
After Indiana took a 1-0 lead going into the top of the second, Kentucky exploded for five runs in its next at-bat to take the lead.
Kirtley Lawrence got things started for Kentucky with a lead off single in the second. Two batters later, Mathew Mitchell hit an RBI single. Kentucky proceeded to score four more runs in the inning, including Adam Smiley's single into center field to score two unearned runs.
In the bottom of the third, Indiana would go on a run of their own, scoring three runs in the inning. Kentucky preserved a 1-run lead going into the fifth inning, 5-4.
Indiana's Hunter McCubbins then hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the fifth. Indiana proceeded to shut out Kentucky in the top half of the sixth inning and in its next at-bat, Mason Gills hit a bases loaded, walk-off single to win it for Indiana.
The Little League World Series begins on Thursday, Aug. 16. The Great Lakes champions' first game in South Williamsport will be on Friday, Aug. 17 when it plays the eventual Northwest champion.