Hawai'i, South Korea advance after convincing wins

Sean Yamaguchi is greeted by his Hawai'i teammates after crushing a grand slam in the second inning. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Sean Yamaguchi hit the first grand slam of this year's Little League World Series as Hawai'i beat New York, 10-0, in five innings Wednesday to clinch its fifth appearance in the U.S. championship game since the game's inception in 1976.

South Korea also won big, beating Japan via the 10-run rule -- 10-0 in four innings. It was the first time Japan had lost in fewer than six innings since 1997. New York and Japan will have another chance to reach their respective U.S. and international title games on Thursday.

Georgia won its third consecutive elimination game with a 4-3 victory over Michigan, and will now face New York for a chance at its fourth U.S. championship game appearance. Since the LLWS expanded from eight to 16 teams in 2001, only three teams have reached the U.S. title game after dropping their tournament opener, with the most recent team being Hawai'i in 2010.

In the other international game, Carlos De Jesus homered twice as Puerto Rico beat Canada, 9-4, to remain in title contention. Puerto Rico is now one win away from its third appearance in the international championship game, but it will have to get through Japan, which has reached the international championship game 20 times, more than any other international team.

Thursday also features a consolation game between Idaho and Spain. Both teams are seeking their first LLWS win in this millennium.

Recapping Wednesday's games


Hawai'i goes up big with Yamaguchi's grand slam

Sean Yamaguchi hits a grand slam in the bottom of the second inning to extend Hawai'i's lead over New York.

Hawai'i 10, New York 0 (5 innings)

  • Hawai'i advances to the U.S. championship game on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

  • Hawai'i will make its first appearance in the U.S. title game since 2010, when it defeated Texas.

  • Yamaguchi went 3-for-4 with five RBIs; his grand slam in the bottom of the second inning gave Hawai'i 6-0 lead, and it was the first-ever grand slam for Hawai'i in the recorded history of the LLWS.

  • Aukai Kea (Hawaii) threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing only one hit; Kea has allowed just three hits in 10 2/3 scoreless innings in the LLWS; he is also eligible to pitch in the U.S. championship aame on Saturday.

  • Kea and Ka'olu Holt combined for a one-hit shutout.

  • Hawai'i pitchers have allowed three runs in 22 innings this LLWS.

  • Hawai'i is two wins shy of its third LLWS title and first since 2008.

  • New York plays Georgia in the U.S. semifinals on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

  • For the Mid Island Little League team from New York, the loss was its first this summer after going 17-0 across all tournaments.


Ji Hyung Choi widens South Korea's lead with dinger

South Korea's Ji Hyung Choi rips a 2-run shot to center field that gets out in a hurry in the bottom of the second inning.

South Korea 10, Japan 0 (4 innings)

  • South Korea advances to Saturday's international championship.

  • South Korea improves to 3-1 against Japan all-time.

  • For Japan, the loss tied for its third-largest at the LLWS all-time.

  • It was also the first time Japan lost via the 10-run rule since 1997 against Mexico.

  • South Korea's Yeong Hyeon Kim threw 49 pitches in four innings of work, allowing one hit and no walks and striking out 10; he is eligible to pitch Saturday.

  • Kim also went 2-for-3 with five RBIs, tied for the most RBIs by any player in a game this year.

  • Japan is still in title contention, facing Puerto Rico on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. The winner will play South Korea in Saturday's international championship.


Big 2-run HR helps Puerto Rico eliminate Canada at LLWS

Carlos De Jesus's two-run home run gives Puerto Rico a 9-4 lead in a win over Canada at the Little League World Series.

Puerto Rico 9, Canada 4

  • Puerto Rico remains in title contention and faces Japan in an elimination game at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday.

  • Puerto Rico is one win away from Saturday's international championship game.

  • Puerto Rico scored four of its nine runs in the fourth inning.

  • Carlos De Jesus (Puerto Rico) hit two home runs, becoming the first player with a multi-home run game in this year's LLWS.

  • Puerto Rico is now 7-0 all-time against teams from Canada in LLWS.

  • With the loss, Canada was eliminated from the LLWS.


Georgia dad fired up again after team eliminates Michigan

Jansen Kenty records the final out of Georgia's Little League World Series win over Michigan and his dad exuberantly celebrates.

Georgia 4, Michigan 3

  • Georgia will play New York in the U.S. semifinals on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

  • Georgia has won three straight elimination games since losing its LLWS opener to Hawai'i.

  • Jansen Kenty (Georgia) pitched a complete game, striking out nine, walking none and allowing three runs. He was eligible to pitch because Tuesday's game was rained out. Kenty is now ineligible to pitch for the rest of the LLWS.

  • From a pitching standpoint, Kenty finished the LLWS with 21 strikeouts and two walks in 11 1/3 innings of work.

  • Jack Ryan (Georgia) had a two-run single in the first inning.

  • Michigan finished with its most wins in a single LLWS since 1982 .

  • Oliver Service (Michigan) hit a two-run home run in the top of the second inning on his 13th birthday .

  • Jarren Purify (Michigan) hit a solo homer in the top of the third inning.

Previewing Thursday's games

Consolation game: Idaho vs. Spain, 11 a.m. ET on ESPN

  • Both teams have already been eliminated from title contention.

  • Spain is 3-25 all-time in the LLWS, with all three wins coming against teams from North America; its last win came in 1982 against Maryland.

  • Idaho is 1-4 all-time in the LLWS, with its only win coming in 1999 against Indiana after starting pool play 0-2.

Japan vs. Puerto Rico, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN

  • The winner of this game will advance to the international championship game and face South Korea on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

  • The loser is eliminated from the LLWS.

  • Japan recorded only one hit in its loss Wednesday to South Korea .

  • Japan is now 5-for-32 at the plate in its past two games after producing 14 hits in its opening game.

  • Japan is seeking its 21st international championship game appearance, where it has gone 14-6 in the previous 20.

  • Japan is looking to reach the international championship game for the eighth time in the past nine years.

  • Japan is 3-1 against Puerto Rico all-time.

  • Puerto Rico is seeking its third international championship game appearance; it is winless in the previous two.

New York vs. Georgia, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

  • The winner advances to face Hawai'i in the U.S. championship game on Saturday; the loser is eliminated from the LLWS.

  • Georgia is seeking its first appearance in the U.S. championship game since 2007.

  • New York is seeking its fifth appearance in the U.S. championship game and second in the past three years; a New York team won the LLWS title in 2016.

  • Georgia is 2-0 all-time against New York, with both wins coming against teams from Staten Island.

  • Tai Peete will be the starting pitcher for Georgia; he has allowed no earned runs over four innings pitched in two LLWS appearances.

Riley Foreman of ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.