Editor's Note: We're waiting on a calls back from Petaluma National Little League officials for quotes from players and coaches. When we get them, we will insert them in the story.
Threatened with elimination three times this week in the Little League World Series, Petaluma National Little League has made it to the U.S. Championship game after a 11-1 blowout of Texas on Thursday night in South Williamsport, Pa.
Petaluma started the offensive explosion in the first inning. After Texas starting pitcher Seth Morrow walked the bases loaded, Porter Slate scored on a wild pitch to put Petaluma up 1-0. Kempton Brandis struck out but reached first base on a wild pitch. Hance Smith then cleared the bases with a grand slam and Quinton Gago followed him with a solo home run to but Petaluma up 6-0 after the first. Smith homered again in the fourth inning, blasting a solo shot to pad Petaluma’s lead to 7-1 after four.
The six runs were plenty for Petaluma starter Danny Marzo, who allowed just two hits, one walk and struck out 11 in five innings.
Petaluma scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to enforce the 10-run mercy rule. Brandis and Smith singled with one out. Gago would single in Austin Paretti (who ran for Brandis) and Smith would score on a passed ball. James O’Hanlon’s single scored Bradley Smith and Logan Douglas would single in Dylan Moore to end the game.
Petaluma will play Tennessee in the U.S. Championship game on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. while Japan will play Latin America in the International Championship at 9:30 a.m. The winners Saturday will play in the Little League World Series Championship on Sunday while the losers will play in the consolation game.
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