Two teams punch tickets to Williamsport

Regional action heats up leading up to Little League World Series

August 10th, 2017
Texas-East (Lufkin) secured its first berth in the Little League World Series. (@LittleLeague)

With the Little League World Series set to begin Aug. 17, regional tournaments around the country are beginning to wrap up, with the first two teams punching their tickets to Williamsport, Pa. on Wednesday.

Here's a recap of Wednesday's action, which featured plenty of dramatic finishes.

Southwest Region (Waco, Texas): Texas-East 2, Texas-West 1

Clayton Wigley hit a solo home run to center field in the top of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie and send Texas-East (Lufkin) to the Little League World Series for the first time. The other Texas-East run came on a homer by starting pitcher Hunter Ditsworth in the first. Ditsworth was masterful for five innings, giving up a run on four hits, walking one and striking out eight. Chip Buchanan came in to get the final three outs after Ditsworth reached his pitch limit.

Southeast Region (Robins, Ga.): North Carolina 8, Georgia 6

Thomas Barrett doubled home two runs in the fourth inning to break a 5-5 tie and help lift North Carolina-North State into the Little League World Series. Bryce Jackson hit a two-run homer and drove in three for North Carolina. Trey King was 3-for-3 with two solo homers for Georgia-Peachtree City.

New England Region (Bristol, Conn.): Connecticut 9, New Hampshire 4

Connecticut-Fairfield scored five in the fourth and four in the sixth to beat New Hampshire-Goffstown and advance to the New England Regional Championship Game (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET). Connecticut's Anthony Pollack doubled and drove in three runs, while Michael Iannazzo doubled and drove in two and Andrew Cutler tripled in a pair.

Mid-Atlantic Region (Bristol, Conn.): New Jersey 10, Pennsylvania 6

A four-run fifth inning propelled New Jersey-Holbrook to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship Game (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET). A Chris Cartnick grand slam in that frame put New Jersey in front for good. It was Cartnick's second homer of the game; he went 3-for-3 with six RBIs.

Great Lakes Region (Westlake, Ind.): Illinois 5, Ohio 4

Illinois-Hinsdale rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to stun Ohio-West Side for a 5-4 victory to advance to the Great Lakes Regional Championship Game (Saturday, 5 p.m. ET), the winner of which advances to the Little League World Series.

Trailing, 4-1, entering the bottom of the sixth, Illinois got an RBI single by Reece Kolke, followed by a Max Williams' RBI groundout and a Jakoby Lange sacrifice fly to tie the game. Pinch-runner Emerson Eck then scored from third on an Ethan Mueller wild pitch to win it for Illinois.

Midwest Region (Westfield, Ind.): North/South Dakota 6, Missouri 5

North/South Dakota-Sioux Falls advanced to the Midwest Regional Championship Game (Saturday, 11 a.m. ET) with a five-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning for a walk-off victory over Missouri-Webb City. Down 5-1, Sioux Falls drew five walks, with a Cohen Henry RBI double and a Marcus Phillips RBI single mixed in to tie the game. Logan Boom then hit a ground ball to short, which Kyler Perry couldn't come up with, enabling the winning run to score.

Northwest Region (San Bernardino, Calif.): Montana 16, Idaho 1 (4 innings)

Montana scored 10 runs in the second inning and another six in the fourth to advance to the Northwest Regional semifinal round (Thursday, 12 p.m. ET). Connor Dick went 2-for-2 with three RBIs, and Kaden Sheridan went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Starting pitcher gave up one run and struck out eight over four innings.

West Region (San Bernardino, Calif.): Utah 13, Northern California 11

Northern California jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Utah stormed back and held off a late rally to advance to the West Regional semifinal round (Friday, 6 p.m. ET). Kyler Terry doubled and homered, while Jaxon Barben doubled and drove in two for Utah. Matt McArthur drove in three, and also came on in relief to get the final three outs of the game after Northern California scored three in the bottom of the sixth.