Mexico beats Japan in Little League World Series thriller
Bruno Ruiz, a 5-foot, 124-pound catcher and outfielder for the Seguro Social Little League team from Mexicali, Baja California, and representing Mexico in the Little League World Series, hit a game-winning single with two outs in the seventh inning Sunday night to lead his team to a 3-2 win over Hamamatsu City, the Japanese representative.
Jubilant fans of Mexico were stomping their feet and chanting at Lamade Stadium on Sunday night at the end of the game between two of the favorites to be the international representative in the championship game Aug. 28.
Ruiz, 13, disappeared into a pile of jubilant teammates when he reached first base after his game-winning hit. Through an interpreter, Ruiz said the only other hit he could remember being so happy about was a game-winning home run. But, Ruiz said, "That definitely didn't feel like it does getting it here at the Series."
Japan's starting pitcher, Yoshiki Suzuki, struck out seven and Mexico starter Alonso Garcia had six strikeouts.
Mexico and Japan each scored twice in the second inning, but Mexico threatened to score more often, stranding nine runners. Third baseman Jorge Jacobo was three for three and scored a run for Mexico.
-- Diane Pucin, reporting from South Williamsport, Pa.
Photo: Mexico's Bruco Ruiz, center, celebrates with his teammates after hitting a walk-off single in a 3-2 victory over Japan at the Little League World Series on Sunday. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press