SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Chayton Krauss hit a walk-off RBI single to right field to give Lewisberry, Pa., of York County a 3-2 victory over Pearland, Texas, on Saturday for a berth in the Little League World Series championship game before a record announced crowd of almost 46,000.
Krauss drove in Braden Kolmansberger, who had walked and moved to third on Jaden Henline's one-out single.
Cole Wagner struck out 11 batters over 5 2/3 innings and hit a home run for the undefeated Red Land Little League team, which draws from Lewisberry and several other towns that are just a two-hour drive from Williamsport and 70 miles north of Baltimore.
Lewisberry will play undefeated Tokyo for the World Series championship Sunday. Tokyo beat Mexico's Mexicali, Baja California, 1-0, in seven innings Saturday for the international title.
The crowd of 45,716 began lining up for the game at 6 a.m. for the 3:30 p.m. start. They quickly filled the large hill behind the outfield fence, leaving only a small patch behind a television tower for kids to participate in the traditional hill sliding on cardboard sheets. Dozens were left to peer through a parking lot fence above the hill.
Wagner opened the scoring with an opposite-field homer in the bottom of the first inning before Texas used some timely base running to tie the game in the second.
Zack Mack doubled and Tristen Schwehr singled to put runners on first and third. Pinch runner Raffi Gross scored when Schwehr stole second base, and the throw to second careened off Wagner's glove as he tried to cut it off.
The Pearland team took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Marco Gutierrez doubled to right-center field. That scored Mack, who came all the way around from first base after walking.
Henline, who had a walk-off double against California earlier in the tournament, hit a home run into the sea of screaming Red Land fans sitting behind the right-field wall to tie the it at 2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Wagner received a standing ovation when he came out after striking out the first two batters in the sixth inning and reaching the 85-pitch limit. The 12-year-old left-hander struck out 11 batters and threw 59 strikes before being replaced by Henline, who got Mack to pop out.
Ryan Farmer threw five innings for Texas, whose three top pitchers were unavailable after being used to make it through the losers' bracket following a 3-0 loss to Lewisberry earlier this week.
Farmer, mixing some off-speed stuff with his fastball, struck out six batters and gave up just two hits, the Pennsylvania home runs.
He was replaced by Gutierrez after walking Kolmansberger to open the sixth. Gutierrez struck out Wagner, who came into the game batting .625 for the series, before giving up the back-to-back hits to Henline and Krauss.
A Pennsylvania team had not won the U.S. title since a team from Shippensburg did it in 1990 and has not won the World Series title since Levittown accomplished that feat in 1960.