WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport Little League held off a rally by Sammamish, Wash., to win Sunday, 9-7, at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Westport will play next Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the winners’ bracket final of the U.S. Division. It will meet Chula Vista, Calif., a 15-3 winner Sunday over Newark, Del.
Westport grabbed a 9-1 lead in the fourth inning before Washington, the Northwest Region representative, started chipping away. Washington scored two in the fourth and four in the fifth before pitcher Alex Reiner came on and closed out the game for Westport.
Winning pitcher Harry Azadian had a big game for Westport. He allowed two runs in 3 1/3 innings and also had three hits, including a home run, and five RBIs.
Reiner, however, saved the day for Westport with two strong innings of scoreless relief. After Azadian was lifted in the fourth, Washington started to rally. It closed to 9-3 in the fourth, and then it pieced together four hits and two walks to score four more runs in the fifth.
Washington had the tying runs on base, but Reiner came on with nobody out and got out of the jam. In the sixth, Washington got the tying runs on base before Reiner again came through to get the final out.
Westport, 20-0 this summer, scored seven runs in the second inning to take control. Azadian’s two-run single highlighted the uprising. Washington scored one in the third before Azadian’s two-run homer in the fourth made it 9-1.
Chad Knight had two hits, scored two runs and drove in one for Westport. Charlie Roof also had two hits. Westport had 13 hits for the game and erupted offensively after managing just four runs in its last two games.
If Westport wins Wednesday, it will need one more victory to win the U;S. championship. A loss would force Westport to the losers’ bracket, where it would have to win on Thursday to play for the U.S. title.