In Elk Grove's win, the boys from the west jumped ahead 5-1 through three innings. Jonah Ira (double) and RJ Blanton (single) drove in runs in the first, while Carson Stevens doubled and scored on an error in the second.

Ira, who went 3-for-3, singled and scored in the third on a Cole Bendle double and Bendle later scored on a passed ball. The pair was also involved in a three-run fifth inning rally. Ira added his second double before Bendle blasted a long home run to deep center field. Jino Enriquez also homered in the inning.

Blanton, the winning pitcher, had two hits and one RBI. On the mound he allowed just three hits and one run. He walked three, struck out three and hit one batter. Justin Wilburn and Enriquez also saw action on the mound.

Maryland scratched out a single run in the second when Peytyn Gray reached safely on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded. Maryland then made things a little interesting with a three-run rally in the top of the sixth inning.

Maryland loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter. Gray drove in another run on a groundout to second and Michael Oglesby singled in another. The other run scored on a passed ball.

In Mountain Home's win, multiple runs in each of the final three innings blew open a close game.

Mountain Home grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with Bradley Ludwig doubling and scoring on Luke Jackson's single.

In the fourth, Jordan Anderson and Austin Helms each hit home runs to highlight a three-run inning. The winners closed out the game with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

Meridian's three runs came in the fifth inning. Daniel Burns and Blake Jablonski had RBIs and the third run scored on an error.

Luke Kruse earned the win, working four and a third innings. He allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, while also striking out three. Jackson threw an inning and two-thirds in relief, walking three and striking out four.

For Meridian, Carson Smith, Nicholas Romano and Burns each pitched, giving up a combined 13 hits. Each gave up three runs.

Saturday openers

American Division pool play opened Saturday afternoon with the Pacific Southwest champion from Elk Grove, Calif., topping the New England champs from New Milford, Conn., 11-6, at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Jine Enriquez was Laguna's top offensive contributor, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and one run. R.J. Blanton went 2-for-3 with a home run in the victory, while Collin Dean and Nicolas Regino both has two RBIs.

New Milford's Tim Cianciolo went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs, while Kendall Greene was 2-for-3 with a triple and one run.

Laguna starter Alexander Morales struck out three, walked one and allowed five earned runs over 3-2/3 innings to earn the win.

Charles County triumphs

The Maryland state champions from Charles County picked up a victory in their first American Division pool play game on Saturday night at Cal Sr.'s Yard, beating the Southwest champions from Mountain Home, Ark., 12-0.

The game was halted after the fourth inning by the 10-run mercy rule.

Charles County hurler Ryan Calvert was nearly untouchable on the mound, striking out nine and allowing one hit over four innings of work.

Charles County was paced at the plate by Ian Remalia, who went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Zachary Doss and Seth White both had two RBIs and one run in the victory.

Mountain Home had just one hit, a double by Bradley Ludwig.