SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Rounding second base with big strides, Mark Requena knew he had just given his teammates, and all of Texas, something to smile about.

Requena hit a two-run, go-ahead home run in the sixth inning, and Lufkin, Texas, overcame a five-run deficit to beat Greenville, North Carolina, 6-5 on Saturday and earn a spot in the Little League World Series championship game.

Greenville was previously undefeated in the tournament, having given up just one run and one hit in three games – both to Lufkin, in a 2-1 victory Wednesday – before things changed in a hurry in the U.S. final. Pinch hitter Clayton Wigley’s two-run homer to center started the rally for Lufkin in the fourth inning.

Lufkin will face Japan, which cruised through the international bracket and shut out Mexico 5-0 earlier Saturday, in Sunday’s championship.

Players and coaches said the comeback meant a little bit more knowing that Texas – including Lufkin, about 120 miles northeast of Houston – was being battered by Hurricane Harvey and needed some good news.

“Lufkin is our hometown and we love Lufkin, so we want everybody to be safe so we can come back and they can congratulate us,” second baseman Malcolm Deason said.

Lufkin fell behind 5-0 in the third inning when JoeJoe Byrne hit a two-run single and scored on Chase Anderson’s groundout to second.

The Southwest champs started chipping away at the lead in the fourth inning with Wigley’s home run.

“We talked earlier that we (weren’t) out of the ball game,” Lufkin Manager Bud Maddux said. “We (were) going to win this ball game. I (have) confidence in these guys. We’ve been down before and fought back, and (our guys) played their hearts out and we did it again.”

Deason hit an RBI single in the fifth, then scored on a wild throw by the catcher, Bryce Jackson, who tried to catch Deason stealing third.

Despite the loss, Greenville Manager Brian Fields said he was delighted with his team’s performance, and that his players will give the consolation game against Mexico their all.

“I just told them how proud I was of them,” Fields said. “I just told them to hold their heads high. They have nothing to be ashamed of.”

JAPAN 5, MEXICO 0: It took only one batter to send Japan on its way to the championship game.

Keitaro Miyahara smacked a leadoff home run to left-center, capping a nine-pitch at-bat, and Japan beat Mexico for the international bracket title.

Miyahara, 6 for 12 in the tournament, slipped coming out of the box before sprinting around the bases, giving a little fist pump at third.

“After the first home run off this opposing pitcher, the momentum changed,” Japan Manager Junnji Hidaka said through an interpreter. “Once one of our hitters got a home run off of him, we believed we could hit off him. That’s a very good pitcher that we faced.”

If Japan wins, it will be its fifth championship in eight years and 11th overall.

Tokyo Kitasuna, the club representing Japan this year, has won the World Series three times, most recently in 2015.