Japan wins Little League World Series opener
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Kotaro Kiyomiya and Noriatsu Osaka combined for a two-hitter to lead Tokyo to a 7-0 victory over Willemstad, Curacao, on Thursday in the opening game of the Little League World Series.
Kiyomiya didn't allow a hit and struck out seven over 2-plus innings. Osaka finished on the mound in relief with seven strikeouts.
A team from Japan has won the World Series international title the last two seasons. This year's Japan region champs, from Tokyo, took control early with three runs in each of the first two innings.
Satoru Aoyama tripled with one out in the first and scored on Kiyomiya's fielder's choice. Ryuji Osada later added a two-run single.
Christopher Koeiman and Mychellon Jansen each had singles for Curacao, which made its first tournament appearance since 2009.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Starting pitcher Bradley Smith struck out seven and went 4-for-4 at the plate, and Petaluma, Calif., held on for a 6-4 victory over Fairfield, Conn., on Thursday in the Little League World Series.
The 13-year-old Smith strikes an imposing pose with his 6-foot-3 frame. He homered to center, doubled twice and added a sixth-inning single.
But California couldn't shake Connecticut. Will Lucas tripled home a run before scoring on a passed ball to get Connecticut within a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Connecticut threatened again in the sixth, but reliever Andrew White got a double play and strikeout to end the game. The 12-year-old lefty pumped his fist after he left the mound to be greeted by giddy teammates.
Biagio Paoletta homered for Connecticut.
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