SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Bruno Ruiz hit a ninth-inning homer to break a pitcher's duel and lead Mexicali, Mexico, to a 2-1 win Wednesday over Maracay, Venezuela at the Little League World Series.
The 13-year-old Ruiz deposited a 2-0 pitch over the 225-foot wall in center field, setting off a wild celebration among Mexico's vocal fans. A smiling Ruiz cringed while getting bombarded by teammates with pats on his green helmet after crossing the plate.
They celebrated some more when reliever Jorge Jacobo closed out the victory with a groundout before friends and family serenaded players with songs in Spanish.
Mexico advances to Saturday's international bracket final, while Venezuela next plays Japan on Thursday.
Both squads benefited from strong pitching and excellent defense. Venezuela starter Keny Marquez struck out seven over six innings.