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Little League World Series scores and bracket 2017: Connecticut holds off New Jersey comeback

Little League World Series - World Series Championship Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The kids from Connecticut withstood a furious rally from New Jersey in the sixth and final inning, holding on for a 7-6 win to highlight Day 1 at the 2017 Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The team from Fairfield American Little League in Connecticut, representing the New England region in the United States bracket, took a 7-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, when the kids from Holbrook in New Jersey, representing the Mid-Atlantic region, started to chip away.

An error scored one run and a single scored another, then Chris Cartnick hit a two-run home run to pull Mid-Atlantic within one run. But that was as close as they would get.

On the international side, Canada turned on the power to beat Italy, representing the Europe-Africa region, behind two home runs from Chase Marshall. The 12-2 win for Canada lasted just four innings, with the game stopped by the 10-run mercy rule.

Italy may have lost the battle, but center fielder Matteo Giovanelli won the war, thanks to this pro-like superstition:

In the opener on Thursday, Venezuela — representing Latin America — beat Mexico 4-1. Venezuela was helped out by defensive plays like this, a double play to end the first inning.

In the nightcap, the Southwest region team from Lufkin, Texas hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in a 5-1 win over Grosse Pointe, Michigan, representing the Great Lakes region.

Latin America and Canada will battle on Sunday, as will New England and Southwest. Saturday will feature elimination games, with Mexico playing Italy on the international side and Mid-Atlantic playing Great Lakes in the U.S. bracket.

Thursday scores

Game 1: Latin America 4, Mexico 1

Game 2: New England 7, Mid-Atlantic 6

Game 3: Canada 12, Italy 2 (4 innings)

Game 4: Southwest 5, Great Lakes 1