SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania (AP) - Nick Conlin scampered home from third on a wild pitch to give Chula Vista an 11-10 comeback win over Warner Robins Thursday to advance to the U.S. championship game of the Little League World Series.
California's Chula Vista rallied from a five-run deficit to earn a semifinal spot against Texas on Saturday with a berth in the World Series title game at stake.
Little League's final four is now complete. Taiwan beat Curacao 5-2 to set up the international final.
Starting pitcher Chin Ou felt tired during the win so his manager let him snack on candy in the dugout.
The sweet treats gave the 12-year old left-hander enough energy to limit Curacao's bats. Ou struck out eight and didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning, while Tang Fu Cheng homered and scored twice in a 5-2 victory that eliminated Curacao.
Taiwan will play Mexico on Saturday for the right to advance to the World Series title game.
Lee said he was especially happy because Taiwan advanced to the tournament's final weekend for the first time in 12 years.
Ou was a big reason why. Lee set up the rotation so that he could throw his good breaking pitches against Curacao, which was batting .349 as a team entering Thursday.
"He threw a lot of curveballs," Curacao manager Vernon Isabella said through an interpreter. "That was the difference."
Leading 3-0, Ou held Curacao hitless until one out in the fifth, when Jayson Libert singled. Ou got Sedwin Reigina to bounce into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Cheng hit a solo shot in a two-run sixth that gave Taiwan a five-run cushion, before Curacao finally broke through against Ou in the bottom of the inning. Shair Lacrus hit an RBI double to left-center and Claycandy Hariquez singled home Lacrus.
Ou was lifted with two outs, and reliever Wen Hua Sung ended the game with a strikeout.
Hariquez struck out 11 over five innings in a losing effort for Curacao.
Later Thursday, California rallied from a five-run deficit to tie the game at 10 in the fifth on Andy Rios' two-run homer.
California loaded the bases in the sixth off reliever Conner Smith on two singles and an error to bring up Markus Melin with nobody out.
Smith's 2-1 curve was in the dirt, allowing Conlin to score. Conlin's teammates surrounded him at home and fell to the ground in joy.
The winning run scored with about eight minutes before Little League's 11 p.m. curfew.
Lost in the late drama was Georgia's comeback from an early four-run deficit, getting nine runs in the fourth to take a 10-5 lead. Smith had a two-run homer in the inning and Georgia also scored on an unusual play at home in which two runs scored on a passed ball and an error.
Pitcher Isaiah Armenta got hurt on the play and had to leave the game. Rios came on in relief and didn't allow a run over the final two-plus innings for the win.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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