Texas and North Carolina punched their tickets to this year's Little League World Series on Wednesday, and 12 teams took the field Thursday in regional tournaments hoping to join them in the United States bracket.Below is a recap of Thursday's action, which saw four teams eliminated and the rest advance
Texas and North Carolina punched their tickets to this year's Little League World Series on Wednesday, and 12 teams took the field Thursday in regional tournaments hoping to join them in the United States bracket.
Below is a recap of Thursday's action, which saw four teams eliminated and the rest advance closer to Williamsport, Pa.
Midwest Region (Westfield, Ind.): Nebraska 6, Iowa 5
Nebraska-Kearney eliminated Iowa-Johnston in dramatic fashion when a walk-off single by Brooks Paul completed a four-run comeback and sealed the 6-5 victory. Brayden Andersen led the way for Nebraska by striking out 14 in 5 2/3 innings and going 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored, two RBIs and a walk. Next up for Nebraska is a matchup with Missouri-Webb City at 11 a.m. ET on Friday. The winner will advance to face unbeaten North/South Dakota-Sioux Falls in Saturday's Midwest Region title game.
New England Region (Bristol, Conn.): Maine 8, Vermont 5
Maine-South Portland built an early 6-0 lead in the first two frames -- including back-to-back home runs by Richie Gilboy and Nolan Hobbs in the second -- and it was all they needed to outlast Vermont in the New England Region. Maine's win eliminated Vermont from contention, and moved the team one step closer to the LLWS. Maine will compete with New Hampshire-Goffstown at 1 p.m. ET on Friday for a chance to advance to Saturday's championship game against Connecticut-Fairfield.
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Northwest Region (San Bernardino, Calif.): Oregon 8, Washington 4
Oregon overcame an early deficit with a big four-run fourth to defeat Washington, 8-4, in Northwest Region action Thursday. The win kept Oregon's perfect 3-0 record intact, and clinched a spot in the championship game Saturday. Washington remains alive and will battle Montana at 3 p.m. ET on Friday for the right to face Oregon in the region's title game.
Great Lakes Region (Westfield): Michigan 10, Kentucky 0
Joey Randazzo turned in a dominant performance for Michigan-Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores in its 10-0 win over Kentucky-Lexington Eastern. Randazzo tossed four scoreless frames in the mercy-rule-shortened contest, allowing just three hits and striking out six. With Kentucky eliminated, Michigan moves on to face Ohio-West Side on Friday at 5 p.m. ET, and the winner of that matchup takes on Illinois-Hinsdale in the Great Lakes Region championship.
Mid-Atlantic Region (Bristol): Maryland 5, Delaware 2
Maryland Thurmont entered the fifth inning trailing, 2-1, to Delaware-Milton, but vaulted ahead with a four-run frame for a 5-2 victory. The late comeback was sparked by a pair of two-run homers by Will Gisriel and Josh Skowronski. Maryland's win ended Delaware's regional run, and advanced the team to Friday's matchup against Pennsylvania-Upper Providence at 7 p.m. ET. Unbeaten New Jersey-Holbrook (3-0) awaits the winner of that contest in Saturday's championship game.
West Region (San Bernardino): Southern California 12, Hawaii 8
Southern California scored six runs in the final frame for a come-from-behind victory over Hawaii in the nightcap. Bobby Gray put Southern California ahead in the sixth with a two-run homer. The win advanced Southern California to Saturday's title game, where it will face the winner of Friday's matchup between Utah and Hawaii at 9 p.m. ET.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.