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Little League World Series 2010: Pearland, Texas Advances To National Title Game

The Pearland, Texas Little League All Star team had to win just one of their two contests against Auburn, Washington and waited till 11th hour to do so. After falling to Washington last night, Texas found themselves playing in their first elimination game since arriving to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Washington took a 4-0 lead on Texas before the lead was cut to one after Texas scored three runs. Washington added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 5-3 Washington headed into the top of the sixth and final inning.

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Pearland came to bat with the top of the order up in the top of the sixth inning and managed to draw a leadoff walk followed by a pair of wild pitches to put a runner on third with nobody out. An ensuing single made the score 5-4 and put the tying run on first base with nobody out. Another pair of wild pitches put the tying run at third base for No. 3 hitter Jorge Gutierrez - who grounded into a fielders choice to plate the tying run. Clean up hitter Mason Van Noort fouled off many tough pitches before depositing a hanging breaking ball into the left center field stands to give Texas a 6-5 lead. Texas added an insurance run on a fielders choice in the sixth to give them a 7-5 lead.

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Washington did not go quietly in the sixth. Casey Manning ripped a leadoff single followed by a hit batsman to put the tying run at first base. A pair of fielders choices, including the rare centerfielder throwing to third (8-5 if you're scoring at home) force out, put the Washington All Stars against the wall with their last out. Mason Van Noort, who hit the go ahead home run, struck out the final batter of the game to give Texas a 7-5 win and a date in the National Championship game.

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The Pearland, Texas All Star team will now play for the United States championship Saturday on ABC. They await the winner of the Columbus, Georgia and Waipahu, Hawaii games. Georgia needs just one win to advance while Hawaii must defeat Georgia twice in order to advance. The first game is tonight - 7:00 PM CDT on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.

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The International championship game remains set between Japan and Chinese-Taipei. That game will begin at 12:00 PM CDT Saturday on ABC and ESPN3.com.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.