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Keystone cleans up: PA beats Georgia at LLWS

SHARE Keystone cleans up: PA beats Georgia at LLWS

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The Pennsylvania party rolled on at the Little League World Series.

The hometown favorites from Clinton County overcame a rocky start with a six-run first inning then held on for a 7-5 win Tuesday night over Warner Robins, Ga., before another raucous crowd under the Lamade Stadium lights.

Brandon Miller got the offense going again with a leadoff single before coming around to score on Landon Breon's two-run single. Miller, Pennsylvania's 12-year-old sparkplug, finished the scoring in the frantic first with an RBI infield single.

Georgia had the winning run at the plate with two runners on with two outs in the sixth, but reliever Tyler McCloskey got a groundout to end the game.

Central Pennsylvania's favorite sons celebrated another victory before exchanging handshakes with their opponents at home plate. The crowd erupted with chants of "Let's go Keystone! Let's go Keystone," before a deafening roar following the final out.

In the early games Tuesday, second baseman Ken Igeta had an RBI double to start the scoring in a three-run third, and catcher Asuya Otsuka added an RBI triple in Hamamatsu City, Japan's 4-0 victory over Langley, British Columbia. Cumberland, R.I., had a wild 8-7 win over the Netherlands in a consolation game after Colin Cannata scored on an error in the bottom of the sixth.

An earthquake centered in Virginia briefly rattled Lamade Stadium during that game, causing the metal tables bolted to the concrete floor on press row to shake for several seconds. Play never stopped, and Rhode Island's players said they never felt the rumbling on the field.

The giddy players created their own mini-rumblings when they mobbed Cannata in foul territory after he scored the winning run.

"There was an earthquake," manager David Belisle asked incredulously afterward. "Is that right?"

A Little League official said the venue was deemed safe after a structural engineer's inspection, and the rest of Tuesday's slate went on as scheduled.

The Georgia-Pennsylvania nightcap had the intensity of two major league teams competing for a pennant. Pennsylvania's fans livened up the atmosphere wearing the colors of their beloved "Big Blue Machine." A local marching band played in the stands to make Little League feel old school.

Many of the 32,000-plus in attendance made the 30-mile drive from Clinton County up Route 220 to South Williamsport. If the Keystone players keep this up, they'll be making that drive through championship Sunday.

Georgia shortstop Jake Fromm's two-run homer to center sliced the deficit to 7-5 in the fourth. Fromm also made several sparkling defensive plays, including a diving catch in the hole to save an RBI single.

Japan 4, Canada 0

Shoto Totsuka struck out four over two innings before giving way to relievers Hiroyasu Sugiura and Takuya Okamoto. Japan will play either Mexico or Venezuela on Thursday, while Canada was eliminated.

It took Japan a few innings to figure out Canada starter Cole Cantelon, though.

"It was a very fast fastball, but his location and his tempo were hard to time," Sigiura said through interpreter Kotaro Omori.

The Hamamatsu City league moved a step closer to defending the title won last year by a squad from Tokyo.

Nick Atkinson led Canada with three hits, while Yi Fan Pan added two singles. Cantelon gave up four runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings, and coach Jason Andrews said his starter pitched well except for losing control of his curveball in the middle of the game.

"We lost to the defending champs 4-0. We held our own," Andrews said when asked how his team handled elimination. "It's been a while since Canada did that. I think we represented very well. They're very upbeat, very happy with the way they played."