SAN DIEGO - The Eastlake Little League All-Stars from Chula Vista routed their counterparts from the Westport Little League of Westport, Conn., 12-1, Saturday in the U.S. Championship Game of the Little League World Series.
The win puts Eastlake into Sunday's World Series Championship Game against the team representing the Musashi Fuchu Little League of Tokyo, which defeated the all-star team from the Municipal De Tijuana Little League of Tijuana, Mexico, 3-2, today in the International Championship Game at South Williamsport, Pa.
Nick Mora allowed two hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out 10, and hit a three-run second-inning home run for Eastlake, which has won 22 of its 23 games in five tournaments, including all four in the World Series.
Grant Holman and Giancarlo Cortez had RBI singles for Eastlake in the first inning. Mora also scored on an error by Charlie Roof, the Westport left fielder.
Eastlake combined three singles, two doubles, two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch for six runs in the sixth.
Westport, the New England Region champion which lost to Eastlake, 6-3, on Wednesday, scored its run in the bottom of the first. Max Popken walked, advanced to second when Harry Azadian was hit by a pitch with two outs and scored on Mat Stone's single.
Mora allowed just two runners to reach base after the first inning. Ricky Offenberg singled with two outs in the third and Stone reached first on an error by Michael Gaines, the Eastlake left fielder, in the fourth.
Cortez struck out Chad Knight to end the game after Mora was required to be relieved after reaching the 85-pitch limit.
Eastlake will seek to become the third San Diego County team to win the Little League World Series, joining the 1961 team from the El Cajon-La Mesa Northern Little League, whose roster included future NFL quarterback Brian Sipe, and the 2009 team from Park View Little League in Chula Vista.
Mora's family spoke with 10News Sports Director Ben Higgins after the game. Higgins is in Williamsport, Pa., Tweeting live updates from the ballpark. Click to follow him on Twitter: http://bit.ly/17SHzzp
"I was so confident before the game," said Erwin Mora, Nick's father. "Having him come through like that made me so proud as a father … He did a great job and I'm real proud of him."
Nick's mother said, "I was excited at the same time I was really nervous too but I know Nick can handle it. You know, he's done this before and he's not going to let down his team and I know his team will back him up. We're just very excited for him and just very proud of him and the whole team."
IMAGES: Eastlake All-Stars at Little League Baseball World Series: http://bit.ly/16DpLJB
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10News Special Coverage:
· Eastlake All-Stars road to Williamsport: http://bit.ly/1cOkPr2