WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Three home runs, including one by pitcher Philip Johnston, powered Tucson past Norridge, Ill., 6-0, Tuesday and lifted the Arizona team into the semifinals of the Little League World Series.
In the opening game of the 40th World Series, Maracaibo, Venezuela, got a two-hitter and a two-run homer from Rafael Boscan to eliminate Madrid, Spain, 9-0.
Maracaibo's semifinal opponent Thursday will be the winner of today's game between Valleyfield, Quebec, and Tainan, Taiwan. Tucson, representing the West, will face the survivor of the South vs. East game between Sarasota, Fla., and Brunswick, Md.
Fifteen of the past 19 world champions have come from the Far East region, including 10 from Taiwan. The West region of the U.S. bracket has provided a finalist 10 times in the past 18 years.