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Upsets abound en route to RBI World Series finals

MINNEAPOLIS -- Tuesday night's severe storms at Target Field delayed Wednesday's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities World Series activities, pushing the games to a late afternoon start. But once teams in the Junior and Senior divisions were finally able to start making moves toward the championship game, upsets highlighted the evening.

After a 4 p.m. start for the first round of games, Tampa earned its first win this week. At 0-2-1 in Round Robin play, Tampa faced the No. 1-seeded Chicago (2-1) and stole a 1-0 decision as starting pitcher Eric Leto threw 113 pitches through seven scoreless innings.

Elsewhere in the Seniors Division, Harrisburg also earned a shutout win, 5-0, over Santiago. Harrisburg took advantage of Santiago's mistakes as the team from the Dominican Republic was credited with four errors to Harrisburg's none.

The Juniors Division contained its own upsets, as New Orleans pulled away with a 13-8 extra-innings victory against No. 1-seeded Detroit. Tied at 8 after the standard seven innings, the tournament rookies piled on five runs in the ninth for a chance to play in the championship semifinals.

Later in the evening, Jackson continued the unpredictability in the Seniors Division with a 1-0 win over Detroit PAL. Jackson -- another newcomer -- and Detroit played six scoreless innings until Jackson got on the board in the seventh, as infielder Lakon Wilson drove in the winning run with a double. With the win, Jackson drew Tampa in the championship game semifinal late Wednesday night.

Venice claimed the final spot in the Seniors Division championship semifinal with a 10-3 win over Harlem. Venice trailed only once, 3-2 in the second, before driving in three runs in the third for a 5-2 lead. The California club tacked on five more runs in the fifth to ensure a matchup with Harrisburg for a spot in the championship game.

In the late Juniors Division games, Venice took a 3-2 decision over Harrisburg to draw Pawtucket in the championship semifinal. Venice kept Harrisburg stranded with just two runs on seven hits, while Venice made the most out of its five hits.

Santo Domingo filled in the final spot in the Junior Division semifinals with a 3-2 decision over Miami. The two battled through 11 innings before Santo Domingo drove in the winning run. It will play New Orleans for a spot in the championship game at Target Field on Thursday. Because Wednesday's game ran so late at night, ending around 10:30 CT, the semifinal will not be played until Thursday at 9 a.m. CT.

Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for
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