Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

California team rolls to Series title game

Dylan Palmer celebrates his two-run homer that puts Huntington Beach, Calif., ahead 3-0 in the second.

Associated Press

Dylan Palmer celebrates his two-run homer that puts Huntington Beach, Calif., ahead 3-0 in the second.

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Nick Pratto struck out 10 and had three RBIs as Huntington Beach, Calif., won its second straight elimination game, 11-2 over Billings, Mont., on Saturday to reach today's Little League World Series championship.

California was forced into its first elimination game when it lost 1-0 to Montana on Wednesday. It beat Clinton County, Pa., 2-0 Thursday to earn the rematch.

On Saturday, Pratto had an RBI groundout in the first and a two-run double in the fourth that made it 5-1.

"When I was younger, I used to watch the Little League World Series on TV," said California's Dylan Palmer, who hit a two-run homer in the second. "It was like, 'Wow I really want to be there some day.' And now we're there."

The first trip to the World Series for a team from Montana ended. After the game, though, California's players, with whom it roomed, lined up along the first-base line to applaud the players and fans. Then the squads took a group picture together near the mound.

"I don't think anybody in the Northwest expected Billings to be here. They've been our friends for a long time," said California manager Jeff Pratto, Nick's father. "It's been a special ride with them. We told them maybe we'll play again somewhere in the middle; maybe Colorado."

Japan 5, Mexico 2: Yoshiki Suzuki struck out seven as the team from Hamamatsu City reached the final a year after a team from Tokyo won it all. The team from Mexicali cut it to 5-2 in the fifth on Jorge Jacobo's triple. The next batter hit a dribbler down the first-base line. Catcher Taiga Iwamoto grabbed the ball and backhanded it to Suzuki, who blocked the plate with his left foot and tagged Jacobo.

.Fast facts

World Series

Championship: Japan vs. Huntington Beach, Calif., noon, Ch. 28

California team rolls to Series title game 08/27/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 27, 2011 8:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  2. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now


    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  3. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-name prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  4. Nine Florida football players, 62 felony complaints in fraud scandal


    GAINESVILLE — The fraud scandal that has engulfed the University of Florida's nationally ranked football team for weeks exploded Monday with the first detailed accounts of criminal accusations that threaten to derail the Gators' season.

    Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  5. Where Rays shortstop Matt Duffy's lost season leads

    The Heater

    BRADENTON — In a perfect world, Matt Duffy would have been in New York on Monday with his Rays teammates enjoying the final off day of the year. Instead, he was on Field 4 at Pirate City on a sweltering afternoon, trying to restart his season.

    Rays shortstop Matt Duffy plays in his first game (since rehab was aborted) with the club's instructional league on Monday at the Pirate City baseball field and spring training complex in Bradenton [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]