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LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES

Massachusetts Qualifies for U.S. Final

August 22, 2003|From Associated Press

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Tears in the dugout turned to a celebration on the field when Saugus, Mass., which blew an eight-run lead, scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and beat Richmond, Texas, 14-13, Thursday night in the U.S. semifinals of the Little League World Series.

Matthew Muldoon's RBI single tied the score in the seventh inning, and David Ferreira drove in the winning run with a two-out infield hit. Dario Pizzano began jumping in celebration as he crossed the plate, while Ferreira, who didn't immediately start running after hitting the ball, barely beat the throw to first to give Saugus the victory.

Saugus (4-0) will play Boynton Beach, Fla., in Saturday's U.S. championship game.

Eli Sepulveda hit an RBI double and Cody Robinson a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to give Richmond (2-2) a 13-10 lead.

But Robinson walked the bases loaded, forcing a switch to Randal Grichuk, who had yet to pitch in the Series.

Pizzano's RBI single and an error on the throw to the plate brought Saugus within 13-12. Muldoon lined a two-strike single to right that scored Tyler Grillo.

Earlier Thursday, Japan beat Mexico, 7-1, to advance to its fourth consecutive international championship game, where it will face a team from Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, for the third successive time.

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