LLWS: Matti, New Jersey down Oregon to stay alive
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Leadoff hitter Emil Matti hit two solo homers and scored four runs to lead Parsippany, N.J., to a 10-4 victory over Gresham, Ore., on Saturday night in the Little League World Series.
Matti hit both shots to center, including a blast to lead off the game that caromed off the top of the brick wall beyond the fence 225 feet away.
The 13-year-old shorstop did his best impersonation of Yankees leadoff hitter Derek Jeter for the New Jersey team from the New York suburb of Parsippany.
And New Jersey's vocal fans chanted the names of each of their favorite sons as they strode to the plate as if they were Yankee Stadium "Bleacher Creatures."
Manager Mike Ruggiero called Matti a steady, five-tool player.
"I was hitting the ball, and whatever they gave me," Matti said with a slight smile after the game.
Trailing 5-0 in the second, Oregon cut it to 5-4 in the third on Tyler Linch's two-run single.
But Linch was later tagged out at home after trying to score the potential tying run on a grounder to second.
"They definitely started swinging the bats like we've been waiting for them to do," Oregon manager Jason Trickel said. "We were just one good swing from tying up the game."
Reliever Kyle Phillips quieted Oregon the rest of the way with four shutout innings.
D.J. Pico added a two-run homer - his first all season - for New Jersey, while Ezra Samperi had a two-run single in the second inning for Oregon.
Oregon will play Uganda in a consolation game Tuesday after being eliminated from contention.
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