The all-star team from the Torrance Little League qualified for the Little League World Series with a 6-0 victory over its counterpart from the Petaluma National Little League Friday.
Torrance was limited to two hits during the regulation six innings in a semifinal of West Region Tournament, then combined four singles, a bases-loaded walk, a hit batter and an error, all with two outs, for six runs in the seventh.
Torrance became the first Los Angeles County team to reach the Little League World Series since 1994. With the Little League World Series limited to U.S. teams this year because of the coronavirus, each of the top two teams from the eight U.S. regions will advance to the World Series instead of just the champion.
Torrance (3-1) will face the all-star team from the Honolulu Little League (3-0) Saturday at 11 a.m. at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino for the regional championship. The game will be televised by ABC. Attendance is limited to the pass holders from the teams playing and the “Friends and Family” pass holders.
Gibson Turner limited Petaluma National to one hit over the opening 5 2/3 innings before being forced to be removed after reaching the 85-pitch limit. Turner struck out 15 walked one and hit two batters. He held Petaluma National (1-2) hitless until Giovanni Castaing’s single with one out in the sixth.
Castaing advanced to second on a passed ball by catcher Andrew Nuruki, but reliever Dominic Golia retired the first batter he faced, Oliver Pedersen, on a ground out to end the inning.
Castaing allowed one hit over 5 1/3 innings, striking out nine and walking two, before being forced to leave because of the pitch-limit rule.
Turner drove in Torrance’s first run with a bases-loaded walk. Nuruki singled in Isaac Mora, who was hit by a pitch. Xavier Navarro, who singled, stole home for the third run.
Grant Hays singled in Turner and Nuruki. Hays scored on an error by Castaing, who moved to shortstop after pitching.
Torrance lost its opener in the West Region Tournament, 1-0, Sunday to the all-stars from Arizona’s Queen Creek Little League, putting it in the elimination bracket of the six-team modified double-elimination tournament.
But Torrance avoided elimination with an 8-6, nine-inning victory over the all-star team from Las Vegas’ Summerlin South Little League Tuesday.
Torrance advanced to the semifinal with an 8-1 victory over the Washington (Utah) Little League all-stars Wednesday.
Torrance won the Southern California tournament through the elimination bracket after losing its first game.
The most recent team from Los Angeles County to reach the Little League World Series was the all-star team from the Northridge Little League, which won the U.S. championship with a team that included future USC and NFL quarterback Matt Cassel.