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Staying alive


February 16. 2013 6:06PM


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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Will Lucas threw a no-hitter to lead Fairfield, Conn., past New Castle, Ind., 4-0 Monday night at the Little League World Series.


The 12-year-old right-hander struck out 13 and also had a two-run single in the fifth. When it was over, he fell to the ground as his teammates piled on top of him near the mound.


Matt Kubel homered for Connecticut, which will play California in a rematch tonight. Connecticut lost the first matchup 6-4 last week.


Indiana manager Tim Porter said Lucas was effective changing speeds.


Earlier in the day, Danny Marzo drove a breaking ball to the grassy hill beyond the right-field wall to help Petaluma, Calif., advance in the Little League World Series with a 5-4 victory over Parsippany, N.J.


Manager Eric Smith "told me you can't go up there thinking walk-off home run," Marzo said. "You have to be thinking base hit. A walk-off comes off a good base-hit swing."


Marzo's giddy teammates started lining up around the plate to pat him on his helmet before he even reached second. Their frantic fans started chanting "Petaluma!"


The skipper's son, 13-year-old shortstop Hance Smith, knew the ball was headed out when he saw Marzo's swing.


"I didn't really (see the ball) leave the park," Hance Smith said with a smile. "I just came out to greet him."


Parsippany pushed across two runs in the sixth to tie it at 4. Emil Matti homered and David Ton had an RBI single.


California's Logan Douglas struck out four in 2 1-3 scoreless innings to set up Marzo's winning homer. Smith went 2 for 3 with a two-run single in the fourth.


Petaluma's victory sparked a celebration in Oakland's clubhouse before a night game against Minnesota. Third baseman Brandon Inge planted a whipped cream pie on teammate Jonny Gomes after the Athletics watched Marzo's big hit. Gomes, who's from Petaluma, proudly wore a Petaluma Little League T-shirt.


The California kids have a flair for dramatic victories, just like the A's, who have a major league-leading 20 wins in their final at-bat.


"I don't know if we're watching them or they're watching us," said Gomes, a longtime financial supporter of the local league. "It must be in the water up here."


Despite the loss, New Jersey fulfilled the goal the team set from the first day of practice: Get to South Williamsport.


"Like I told the kids, you came to visit," manager Mike Ruggiero said. "You're on the best field in the world and you played on it."



Curacao 4, Canada 3

Trailing 3-1 in the fifth, the winners from Willemstad had runners on second and third when Christopher Koeiman hit a fly ball to left with one out. Carter Kada-Wong fell backward to make the catch, but both runners had enough time to score.


Jansen then homered to give Curacao the lead for good against Vancouver, British Columbia.


Reliever Rallison Bentura pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings to get the win.


"I had the attitude that nobody could hit me," the 12-year-old right-hander said through an interpreter.


Cole Dalla-Zanna was the hard-luck loser for Canada, striking out nine.


Canada was eliminated but manager Vito Bordignon wants his players to be proud of their showing this year, which included a 13-9 win over formidable Mexico.


Next up for Canada: a little sightseeing in Pennsylvania.


"I just told them they had a great tournament and to keep their heads up," Bordignon said. "They represented Canada well."



Mexico 4, Taiwan 3

Mexico scored three runs in the third to take the lead, including two on a throwing error, and went on to the victory against Taoyuan, Taiwan.


Mexico loaded the bases after tying it at 2 on an error. In the next at-bat, Taiwan's catcher tried to run back a runner who had strayed off first, but the ball slipped from his hand on a fake throw and dribbled into right field. Two runs scored to give Mexico a 4-2 lead.


Chun-Hsiao Chen hit an RBI single in the fourth, but Mexico center fielder Fernando Benavides cut down the potential tying run at the plate.


Taiwan's Cheng-Feng Lee struck out 10 in a complete-game loss.





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