Georgia, Japan survive elimination, advance in LLWS

Tai Peete celebrates with his teammates after Georgia beat New York, 7-3. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Errors proved to be costly Thursday, paving the way for Georgia and Japan to avoid elimination and take the next step toward a Little League World Series crown.

Two errors in the second inning helped Peachtree City Little League of Georgia take the lead and never look back on its way to a 7-3 victory over New York. The victory, Georgia's fourth straight in the LLWS, sets up a rematch with Hawai'i in the U.S. championship game on Saturday (3:30 p.m. on ABC). Last Friday, Hawai'i beat Georgia 2-0 on Aukai Kea's walk-off home run in the 11th inning.

Meanwhile, Japan capitalized on a Puerto Rico error to score the game's only run in a 1-0 win and advance to its eighth international championship game in nine years. Japan next plays South Korea (12:30 p.m. on ABC), which won the first meeting, 10-0, in four innings Wednesday.

Recapping Thursday's games


New York's defensive struggles prove costly

In the bottom of the 2nd inning, New York has a difficult time fielding the ball allowing Georgia to take the lead.

Georgia 7, New York 3

  • Georgia advances to its first appearance in the U.S. championship game since 2007, when it went on to win the LLWS title.

  • Georgia has won four straight elimination games; it is the first team since Hawai'i in 2010 to reach the U.S. championship game after losing its tournament opener.

  • Georgia scored seven unanswered runs after trailing 3-0 entering the bottom of the first inning.

  • Georgia improved to 3-0 all time against teams from New York -- all from Staten Island.

  • Starting pitcher Tai Peete (Georgia) settled down after giving up three runs in the first inning. He held New York scoreless for the final four innings.

  • Peete also contributed at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

  • Also for Georgia, Connor Riggs-Soper had two hits, Jansen Kenty had an RBI triple and two runs scored, and James Hooper hit a two-run double.

  • Steven Martinez led New York's offense with a triple and a double, and John Calabrese had a two-run double.


Japan capitalizes on Puerto Rico error

Yuya Ito hits a slow roller that the shortstop overthrows to first, putting Japan up for good 1-0.

Japan 1, Puerto Rico 0

  • Japan reaches the international championship for the 21st time (14-6 in previous 20 appearances). It's the most appearances of any international team since inception of the game in 1976.

  • Masato Igarashi (Japan) threw 51 pitches in 3 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and striking out five. He is eligible to pitch Sunday.

  • Shisei Fujimoto (Japan) pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, striking out four and holding Puerto Rico hitless on 24 pitches. He is also eligible to pitch Saturday.

  • Japan, which had only three hits in the game, scored its only run on an error in the third inning.

Consolation game: Idaho 5, Spain 0

  • Idaho is 2-4 all time in the LLWS and won for the first time since beating Indiana in 1999.

  • Spain is 3-26 all time in the LLWS.

  • Juan Salazar went 3-for-3, accounting for all three of Spain's hits.

Previewing Saturday's games

International championship game: Japan vs. South Korea, 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC

  • The winner of this game advances to Sunday's LLWS championship (3 p.m. ET on ABC) and will play the winner of the U.S. championship game between Hawai'i and Georgia.

  • The loser of this game will play in the LLWS third-place game on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET against the loser of the U.S. championship game.

  • This is a rematch of Wednesday's game in which South Korea beat Japan via the 10-run rule. It was the first time Japan lost via the 10-run rule since 1997 against Mexico.

  • All pitchers are eligible for South Korea. Masato Igarashi is the only ineligible pitcher for Japan.

  • This is the first meeting between the two teams since 2014. Japan is 1-3 against South Korea all time, but 17-2 against all other teams since 2014.

  • Japan lost to the same country multiple times in a single LLWS twice in its history, losing to Mexico both times in 1997 and most recently losing twice to South Korea in 2014.

  • South Korea is 4-0 all time in the international championships, beating Japan in 2014.

  • South Korea is one win away from appearing in the LLWS title game for the fifth time in six LLWS appearances.

U.S. championship game: Georgia vs. Hawai'i, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

  • This will be Georgia's fourth appearance in the U.S. title game; Georgia is 3-0 in previous trips.

  • For Georgia, Jansen Kenty and Tai Peete are ineligible to pitch for the rest of the tournament.

  • Hawai'i defeated Georgia 2-0 earlier in the tournament with a walk-off home run in the 11th inning.

  • This will be the fifth appearance for Hawai'i in the U.S. title game, going 4-0 in previous trips.

  • Hawai'i has giving up only three runs in 22 innings pitched in this tournament.

  • Hawai'i has advanced to the LLWS title game in each of three previous trips to Williamsport.

  • Hawai'i has all of its pitchers eligible for the game.

Justin Page of ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.