The Mid-Atlantic Region Champions from Mid Island Little League were rolling early, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning, but Peachtree City American Little League, the Southeast Region Champion, was not phased, rebounding to post a 7-3 on Thursday evening at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.
The victory set up a rematch between the team from Georgia and Hawaii’s state champion Honolulu Little League, winners of the West Region. The two teams hooked up earlier in the tournament and played an 11-inning epic, that ended when Aukai Kea lined a two-run home run for a 2-0 West victory.
The Southeast and West are scheduled to meet again at Lamade Stadium for the United States Championship at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
On Thursday night, the Mid Island Little League looked like it had recovered from a 9-0 loss to Honolulu Little Leaguers, opening with an impressive first at-bat. An RBI single by Derek Mendez and a double by John Calabrese highlighted the frame.
Trailing 3-0, the Southeast bats closed the gap to a run after one inning. In the bottom of the second inning, Mid Island’s defense faltered allowing an unearned run to tie the game, 3-3, and Peachtree City American Little League hung another run to end the second inning on top, 4-3.
The eventual winners plated two runs in the first, second, and third innings and closed on out the scoring with another tally in the fourth to set the final.
Tai Peete was credited with the mound victory for Southeast. He worked five innings, allowing seven hits, and three runs, while striking out five, and walking one. Ben Traxler threw one inning in relief to earn the save.
Mendez took the loss for Mid-Atlantic, allowed five hits, and six runs, over two innings, walking one.
Southeast tallied eight hits on the day. Peete helped himself with two hits and Connor Riggs-Soper also added to hits. The Southeast was sure-handed defensively, playing error-free ball.
Mid Island Little League ended its World Series with a record of 2-2, and concluded the 2018 Little League International Tournament run as the third-best team in the United States.
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