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LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES

Florida Wins U.S. Title, Will Play Japan

August 24, 2003|From Associated Press

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — R.J. Neal and Devon Travis each hit two-run homers to lead Boynton Beach, Fla., to a 9-2 victory over Saugus, Mass., Saturday night in the U.S. championship of the Little League World Series.

Boynton Beach (4-1) avenged its only loss of the series; Saugus (4-1) beat the Florida team, 4-3, in pool play Monday night.

Earlier Saturday, Tokyo beat the Netherlands Antilles, 14-6, to mark the third straight year a Japanese team has reached the Little League World Series championship game. A Tokyo team won the series in 2001, beating Apopka, Fla., 2-1; last year, Louisville, Ky., beat Sendai, Japan, 1-0.

The world championship game is scheduled for tonight.

Michael Broad hit a leadoff homer in the fifth for Boynton Beach, and Richie DeJesus followed with a solo shot of his own, making it 9-2.

Cody Emerson (2-0) struck out nine, allowing four hits and two walks in the win. Craig Cole (0-1) took the loss.

Travis, who went three for three to boost his average to .667 for the Series, homered to left field in the fourth to make it 7-1.

Boynton Beach went ahead, 3-1, in the third on an RBI single from DeJesus, a fly ball that bounced off the wall in center field. Facing an 0-1 count, Neal hit his first home run of the series, clearing the center-field fence to make it 5-1.

Earlier, Eito Ono hit a three-run homer during an eight-run fourth inning and Yuutaro Tanaka homered twice as Tokyo (5-0) beat a club from Curacao (3-2) to win the international title.

Tokyo had outscored four previous opponents, 35-2, but found itself in a 5-5 game before Hirofumi Yamazaki's RBI single broke the tie in the fourth. Ippei Endoh's bunt single scored another run, Ono's home run to center field broke open the game, and the final run of the inning scored on an infield error.

Tanaka hit a leadoff homer in the sixth for a 14-5 lead. Kevin Moesquit hit an RBI double in the bottom half for Curacao.

Tanaka's three-run homer in the first was one of the longest of the series, flying some 275 feet. The outfield wall at the ballpark is 205 feet from home plate.

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