Georgia, Curacao advance at LLWS; Oregon to face Lubbock, Texas


Straight-faced Payton Purvis was trying to answer a question when he heard Dalton Carriker giggling to his right.

Purvis and Carricker had plenty to be happy about after they helped Warner Robins, Ga., beat Walpole, Mass., 8-1 on Wednesday at the Little League World Series.

Georgia (2-1) clinched a berth in the U.S. semifinals and learned later Wednesday that its opponent would be Chandler, Ariz., which defeated Coon Rapids, Minn. 9-2.

The other U.S. semifinal will feature unbeaten Lubbock, Texas, against Lake Oswego, Ore.

In the international bracket Wednesday, Mexicali, Mexico lost both ends of a day-night doubleheader, 4-2 to Taichung, Taiwan and 11-1 to Maracaibo, Venezuela. Also, Willemstad Curacao, defeated White Rock, British Columbia, 6-2.

Japan will face Taiwan in one international semifinal Thursday, with Venezuela vs. Curacao in the other matchup.

Purvis, who drove in two runs with a single, said his team's accomplishments haven't sunk in yet.

"It will really settle in when the whole tourney is over and you realize you are one of the four best teams in the country," the 12-year-old outfielder said.

That's when Carriker and teammate Micah Wells burst into laughter, burying their faces in their hands. Purvis stared at them and feigned a punch at Wells, sitting next to him.

"Stop laughing," Purvis said. "You're making me laugh!"

Carriker was the star with a three-run home run in the second that landed far beyond the 225-foot sign down the right-field line at Volunteer Stadium, bouncing in front of a driveway.

Carriker also struck out seven in four-plus innings, finishing a game that had been suspended in the top of the second inning Tuesday night because of rain.

The youngster spent a restless Tuesday night in his dorm room after manager Mickey Lay told him before their 11:30 p.m. bedtime that he would take over in relief when the game resumed.

"I couldn't sleep," Carricker said. "I was ready to throw."

Down 6-0, Walpole mounted a brief threat in the third after Patrick Hayes Jr. doubled, hustled to third on a fly out and scored on a double by Matthew Bender. Carriker got the next hitter, John Adams, to ground out to end the inning. Walpole (1-2) was eliminated.

"Even though we lost, I think the 13 kids fulfilled their dream by making the Little League World Series," Walpole manager Brian Oberacker said.

Rain wreaked havoc on the entire first-round, especially for Mexico, which was forced to play a day game against Taiwan and a night game against Venezuela.

Little League president Stephen Keener said it was the first time he could remember a team playing a doubleheader in the World Series.

Venezuela's Omar Villalobos hit his third homer of the series &

this one a three-run blast to deep right-center &

and Alberth Castillo struck out eight of the first 11 Mexico batters as Venezuela remained unbeaten (3-0). Mexico's Antonio Pantoja ended the no-hitter with a homer.

Earlier, Kai-Ying Chen hit a home run on the second pitch of the game and Jen-Cheih Liu also homered for Taiwan.

Mexico manager Andres Martinez said sitting out for so long affected his team more than having to play two games in a day.

"Too much rest, not doing anything at all," he said through translator Sergio Guzman. "The last two days just shut us down."

Curacao 6, Canada 2

Three pitchers combined on a four-hitter and Juremi Profar hit a two-run homer for Curacao (2-1). Kirvin Moesquit added two hits for Curacao, the Carribean region champs. Canada (1-2) was eliminated.

Chandler, Ariz. 9, Coon Rapids, Minn. 2

Kyle Pechloff and Connor Woods had clutch hits in a seven-run fifth inning to lead Chandler (2-1). Arizona sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth, breaking open a 2-2 game.

Seth Fretheim went 2-for-3 and drove in four runs. Tanner Lowe was 2-for-3 and drove in a run for Coon Rapids (1-2), which was eliminated.

"You never know with our team," Fretheim said. "You could strike out the side in the first inning, but we could come back in the next inning and every one of us will have a hit."

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