Jake Rucker had three hits, scored three runs, pitched out of a fifth-inning jam and got the win as the Goodlettsville All-Stars defeated Petaluma, California 9-6 Sunday in a thrilling second-round game at the Little League World Series.
Jayson Brown’s two-out triple in the top of the sixth broke a 5-5 tie and lifted Goodlettsville, the Southeast Region champion, to its second victory in as many games at the event in Williamsport, Pa.
Brock Meyers followed with his second home run of the tournament.
Goodlettsville’s next game 7 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday against either San Antonio, Texas, or Newcastle, Ind.
“It felt awesome when I was standing on third base,” Brown said. “[The pitcher] was throwing a lot of fast balls so I just took it to right field.”
Rucker replaced Myers, the starting pitcher, with one out in the bottom of the fifth with the score tied 5-5 and runners on first and second. He got out of the inning with a groundball to second and a strikeout.
He led off the game with a single and scored the first run as Goodlettsville took an early 2-0 lead. California answered with three runs in the bottom of the first, but Rucker scored the go-ahead run after a double in the second and made it 5-3 when he scored after a one-out double in the fourth.
Myers allowed solo home runs in the fourth and fifth as California pulled even. He gave up eight hits and five runs in 4.1 innings. He struck out three. Rucker allowed a two-out solo home run, California's fourth of the contest, and a walk in the sixth before he got the final out on a fielder’s choice.
The sixth-inning triple was Brown’s only hit in four at-bats but he scored two runs and finished with three RBIs. He reached in the first on a third-strike wild pitch and drove in Rucker with a ground ball in the fourth.
Jonathan Seals added two hits and was one of five different Goodlettsville players who scored at least one run.
“California was the toughest team we’ve played yet," coach Jerry Hale said. "No one has ever had four home runs against us. I have to give major credit to their coaching staff for preparing their kids so well to hit.”