We are down to six teams still alive for the 2016 Little League World Series championship, and on Wednesday Panama and New York punched tickets into the semifinals.
The kids from Endwell, N.Y., representing the Mid-Atlantic region, beat Bowling Green, Ky., representing the Great Lakes, 13-10 on Wednesday, earning a spot in the United States championship game on Saturday.
Jude Abbadessa hit a two-run home run in the second inning to give Kentucky the lead, then hit a two-run double to break another tie in the fourth inning. He was 5-for-5 on the night with six RBI in the win for New York.
On the other side of the bracket, Panama beat South Korea, 3-2, to advance to the International championship game, also on Saturday.
First baseman Esmith Pineda drove in all three runs for Panama, representing the Latin America region. Jaekyeong Kim struck out nine, allowing only one run in defeat for South Korea, representing Asia-Pacific.
Panama will play the winner of Thursday’s Mexico-South Korea battle, while New York will play the winner of Tennessee vs. Kentucky, also on Thursday.
Tennessee, representing the Southeast region, beat the kids from Johnston, Iowa, representing the Midwest, 14-3 on Wednesday. The game included a three-run home run by RJ Moore and a solo shot by left fielder Ethan Jackson, who reached base three times.
Iowa was eliminated on Wednesday, as was Australia, who fell to Mexico 10-0 in just four innings. Jose Leal homered for Mexico, and he also struck out 10 in his 3⅔ innings for the win.
Third baseman Victor Juarez was 2-for-2 with a home run in the win for Mexico. He has five home runs in the double-elimination tournament.
Source (PDF): Little League Baseball
Game 21: Mexico 10, Australia 0
Game 22: Tennessee 14, Iowa 3
Game 23: Panama 3, South Korea 2
Game 24: New York 13, Kentucky 10