SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Aukai Kea struck out 15 batters while throwing a complete game as Hawaii went ahead on a pinch-hit single by John De la Cruz and defeated Georgia 3-0 to advance to the Little League World Series championship on Saturday.

De la Cruz’s hit broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Hawaii added the game’s final two runs in the fifth, on an RBI triple from Bruce Boucher, followed by Jace Souza’s run-scoring single.

Eight days after striking out 10 Georgia batters in 61/3 shutout innings, Kea struck out the side in three of the first four innings Saturday, and a batter in all six.

Hawaii, the U.S. champion, will play South Korea on Sunday after the Asia-Pacific regional champs defeated Japan 2-1 earlier in the day.

Over two games at the double-elimination tournament, Georgia played 17 innings against Hawaii but was held scoreless.

Much of that was due to Kea, who also hit a walk-off, two-run homer to end the teams’ 11-inning game last week.


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