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Waipio beats Ohio to stay alive in Little League World Series

By Staff and the Associated Press


Waipio  got just one hit but took advantage of wildness from the Ohio players for a 6-4 victory today in an elimination game of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Waipio will play unbeaten Georgia tomorrow at 1 p.m. Hawaii time. Ohio is eliminated from the tournament. Waipio lost its opener to Georgia on Saturday.

Matthew Campos had Waipio's only hit -- a game-tying three-run homer  -- in a six-run fourth inning. Waipio then took advantage of walks, hit by pitches, and wild pitches to score two more runs for a 6-4 lead.

The 12-year-old Campos said it was July when he last homered. No wonder he had a wide smile rounding third as his teammates gathered to greet him at the plate.

"I hadn't hit one of those in a while, so when it came, it just felt awesome," Campos said.

"Um, no, I still can't believe it," Hawaii manager Brian Yoshii said after a laugh when asked if he thought before the game he could win despite being outhit 7-1. "Somehow, we got lucky because that was a great team. They deserved to win every other aspect but the score."

Ohio starter Brooks Robinson — who's named after the Baseball Hall of Famer and wears the same No. 5 — dominated through the first three innings, allowing just a walk, before having control problems in the fourth. Brother Ryan Robinson homered to center in the second. Ryan is named after Rangers Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

Waipio's Ezra Heleski pitched 2 2-3 innings of scoreless relief, working out of a first-and-third jam with one out in the sixth to cap the win.

Ohio manager Ken Coomer said Brooks Robinson used his curve to set up his fastball before getting flustered in the fourth by the hit batter and a couple close calls.

Ryan Robinson followed his brother to the mound later in the inning but didn't retire a batter before Bryce Couch got the last out. Couch threw three wild pitches in his 1 1-3 innings of relief.

"We felt we outplayed them, we know we outplayed them," Coomer said in relaying his postgame message to his disappointed squad. "They're all great, great baseball players. They all have a great future."

Also Wednesday, Auburn, Wash. beat Pearland, Texas, 7-4, to avoid elimination and set up a Thursday rematch, with the winner getting the other spot in the U.S. fnal.

A four-run fifth lifted Kaoshiung, Taiwan past Chitre, Panama, 5-1 Wednesday night to clinch a berth in Saturday's international final against Japan, with the winner moving on to the World Series final Sunday.

The teams were tied 1-1 in the fifth when a walk and bunt singles by Yi-Chung Chen and Chen-Wei Chen loaded the bases with nobody out. After a force at home, Shao-Fei Huang tripled to the fence in right to clear the bases, and later scored on a wild pitch for a 5-1 lead.

"The other team's pitcher threw hard and we were also chasing his slider out of the strike zone," Taiwan manager Tung-Yu Ho said through interpreter Ming-Huang Yeh. "I told the boys that we needed to bunt a little more to put pressure on the other team."

Huang pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the victory.

Panama became the first team to score against Taiwan in the tournament on Javier Garcia's two-out RBI double in the first.

Washington 7, Texas 4

Ikaika Nahaku had an RBI single before scoring on a wild play following a throwing error, and Isaiah Hatch struck out 12 in relief to lead Washington and hand Texas its first loss of the tournament.

Chris Leger tried to make shoestring grab of Nahaku's blooper to left in the fourth, but the ball fell to the ground for a hit, allowing a run to score. After the relay to third, the Texas third baseman's throw to second to try to get Nahaku sailed into the outfield, and Ryan Lacey and Nahaku raced home to give Washington a 5-4 lead.

"I tried to get in a pickle from first to second so Ryan could score," Nahaku said. "I didn't think he was going to throw it because I was almost at the bag."

Washington avoided elimination for the third straight game.

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