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Little League World Series: Huntington Beach to face Japan for title

August 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
With an 11-2 win against Billings, Mont. on Saturday, the Ocean View Little League team from Huntington Beach advanced to the World Series title game against Japan.

Starter Nick Pratto struck out 10 and had three RBIs at the plate, and Ocean View, representing the West, built an early three-run lead to cruise to victory over Billings on a cloudy, dreary Saturday at Lamade Stadium.

Ocean View will return to the same field Sunday to play Japan, which took the international bracket earlier Saturday with a 5-2 win over Mexicali, Mexico. Game time was delayed to noon PT due to precipitation from Hurricane Irene, which was barreling up the East Coast.

Three nights after losing to Montana, 1-0, Huntington Beach won its second straight elimination game and a rematch with the boys from Billings. The two squads became fast friends after rooming together during regional play.

Ocean View left the outcome of the rematch in little doubt after the fourth inning. After an RBI groundout in the first, Pratto hit a two-run double in the fourth to help give Huntington Beach a 5-1 lead.

Montana added a run in the sixth after 13-year-old slugger Cole McKenzie's homer that landed well beyond the 225-foot fence in center field.

But Ocean View did a collective bear hug behind the mound after reliever Trevor Windisch got a force play at second to secure the game's final out.

In a friendly gesture, the boys from Huntington Beach later lined up along the first-base line to applaud the Montana team and its fans, before inviting the Montana players for a postgame group picture near the mound.

You can watch Huntington Beach play Japan in the Little League World Series title game at 9 a.m. PT on ABC7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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