Tuesday's 2015 Cal Ripken World Series pool play was highlighted by the unveiling of Thursday's International semifinalists, as well as Harford's host team, Hickory, collecting its first tournament win.
Japan (3-0) and Dominican Republic (2-1) will move on from Group C, while Mexico (3-0) and Republic of Korea (2-1) advance from Group D.
In Thursday's semi, Republic of Korea will face Japan at 3 p.m., while Dominican Republic and Mexico will meet in the day's last semifinal at 8 p.m.
All games will be played on Cal Sr.'s Yard.
Hickory gets a win
The Hickory Hornets broke into the win column Tuesday afternoon at Cal Sr.'s Yard, beating Illinois Valley, Ill., 5-3, in National Division play. The result left both teams at 1-2 in pool play.
Hickory jumped out in front with three first inning runs and never trailed. Hickory added single runs in the second and fourth innings, while Illinois Valley scored once in the second and twice in the third.
Evan Wallace was 2-for-2 with an RBI double and Gaetano Gerace was 2-for-2, with a triple and two RBIs for the winners.
Parker Smith and Gabriel Howard each hit doubles in the win.
Tresdon Rybarczyk and Rafael Macias had two hits and a run scored for Illinois Valley.
Gerace pitched three innings for the win, as did Illinois Valley's Shane Reynolds in the loss.
Hawaii knocks off Alabama
Manoa, Hawaii (3-0) knocked off previously unbeaten Mobile Ala., 8-3, in afternoon American Division play at Nationals Field.
Manoa scored in all five at bats, highlighted by a three-run fourth and two-run fifth.
Manoa collected 10 hits, including four doubles from Kalae Harrison, Stanley McKenzie, Patrick Munley and Austin Teixeira. McKenzie was the lone Manoa hitter with two hits. Lee Matsuzaki, Harrison, Maka Malama, Teixeira, Kainoa Holt and Munley had an RBI each.
Mobile (3-1) scored all three of its runs in the fifth inning. Ethan Webber singled in two and Cole Berry singled in the other. Cade Wilson added a double in the loss.
Holt tossed five innings, striking out five, to get the win, while Noah Lafferty pitched four innings for Mobile in the loss.
Meridian stays alive
Meridian, Idaho (2-1) stayed alive in American Division action with its 5-4 win over Exeter, N.H., on Cal Sr.'s Yard. The win keeps the American Division pool undecided until Meridian and Manoa meet Wednesday night at 8 p.m.
Jackson Reed had two hits and an RBI to lead Meridian, which overcame 1-0 and 3-1 deficits to win the important game. Mark Steward also had an RBI, while Jacob Hughes and Brayden Rundell both hit doubles.
Josh Morissette hit a double and finished with three RBIs to lead Exeter and Cy LeClerc was the lone hitter to have two hits. Jake Shapiro added an RBI for Exeter.
Carson Bohning pitched five a third innings for the win, while stared and lasted three innings in taking the loss.
West Raleigh is in
West Raleigh, N.C., (3-1) guaranteed itself a spot in Thursday's U.S. semifinals with its 9-1 National Division win over West Fargo, N.D. (0-3), on Cal Sr.'s Yard. West Raleigh will be the second seed behind East Brandywine, Pa., and play a team to be determined Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
The winners put the game away in their first at bat, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs with two outs. The first two scored on wild pitches and a third on an error that continued the inning. A walk and two extra-base hits pushed across the next three runs.
West Raleigh's first four hitters, Joey Ferrari (2-3); Payton Green (2-3); Timothy Pate (1-2); and Blake McCain (1-2) were a combined 6-for-10 with two RBIs and six runs scored.
Brayden Jacobsen tripled and scored West Fargo's run on a wild pitch.
Garrett Moffett pitched four innings for the win, while Alex Urlaub also pitched four in the loss for West Fargo.
Japan wins big
Japan had no trouble winning International Group C, finishing 3-0 with Tuesday's 10-0, four-inning win over Canada (0-3) on Nationals Field.
Nao Kaneko had the game's lone home run and finished with two RBIs. Koshiro Miyamoto and Tatsuki Okamoto both had RBI doubles for Japan, who scored three runs in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth.
Brady Streifel, Liam Robertson and Yudai Tanaka had hits, all singles, for Canada. Okamoto pitched three innings for the win, while Dryden Howse pitched three plus for Canada in taking the loss.
Dominican Republic (2-1) finished second in Group C, after edging Puerto Rico (1-2), 6-5, on Cal Sr.'s Yard.
The Dominicans scored the winning run in the top of the last inning on an error. Kevin Alcantara Araujo singled with one out and stole second with Onil Perez at bat. Perez put down a sacrifice bunt, which was thrown away, allowing Araujo to score the go-ahead run.
Anderson De Los Santos then shut Puerto Rico out in the bottom of the inning to preserve the win. De Los Santos added two hits and two RBIs for the winners and Johan Ferreira added two hits.
Oscar Bonilla and Sabin Ceballos supplied Puerto Rico's scoring, each hitting a two-run home run.
Mexico combines for no-no
For the second time in three games, Mexico pitching did not allow a hit. Cristian Yanez (5 K's) and Hans Chacon (3 K's) pitched two hitless innings each as Mexico beat Australia (0-3),14-0, in four innings on Nationals Field.
Mexico pounded out 13 hits, including a series-high six home runs. Roping the long ball were Israel Espinosa, Joel Ibarra, Hector Mora, Erick Ordonez, Roque Salinas, Vidal Sotelo and Yanez.
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Bailey Jay-Cooke recorded two outs and was dealt the loss for the Aussies.
Korea beats New Zealand
With a spot left for the winner in Thursday' semis, Republic of Korea left no doubt who was taking it with an 16-1 win over New Zealand (1-2) on Cal Sr.'s Yard.
Korea led 4-1 into the third inning, where they scored 12 runs to blow the game open.
Jaeyoung Jang and Taejeong Kim both hit home runs and both had three RBIs to lead the win. Junseo Sim, Seonghun Jung and Jaewoong Jang each drove in two runs.
Nikau Pouaka-Grego doubled and scored New Zealand's lone run. It was the only hit. Seokjin Noh pitched three innings, allowing the one hit and striking out six, for the win.
Marcus Feagaiga pitched two innings in the loss for New Zealand.