Tennessee scratched out two late runs to beat San Antonio McAllister Park and get to the U.S. final of the Little League World Series.
Cole Carter had an RBI single after Luke Rucker scored the tying run from second on a throwing error to give the boys from Goodlettsville, Tenn., a 4-3 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night. Next stop for unbeaten Tennessee: The U.S. championship game Saturday.
McAllister Park had scored twice in the fifth before Tennessee rallied with its late-game heroics.
Reliever Luke Brown closed it out with a double play, and giddy Tennessee players celebrated in front of their dugout with wide smiles while kneeling on the ground as friends and families cheered from the stands.
McAllister Park must now play an elimination game Thursday night against Petaluma, Calif. Tennessee can rest up until Saturday, when it will face the winner of the elimination game.
Tennessee had squandered several opportunities to build on an early 2-1 lead. McAllister Park reliever Zachary Sanchez loaded the bases in top of the fifth after hitting a batter with two outs, but got a force at third to get of that inning.
McAllister Park small ball earned Texas a short-lived 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Landry Wideman had an RBI single before pinch runner Jack Scarborough scampered home from third on a passed ball.
But McAllister Park couldn’t hold on in top of the sixth. Rucker led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on Jayson Brown’s single before racing home after an errant pickoff throw at first sailed into the outfield.
"We'll go back to the room now, address some stuff and then it will be over," Texas manager Jack Wideman Jr. said. "We'll be back at it tomorrow."
"We just made some mental mistakes down the stretch," Wideman Jr. said. "I wouldn't say the wheels came off, it's just baseball. The roles were reversed, they put the pressure on us."