Wednesday in South Williamsport saw the team from North Carolina punch its ticket to the U.S. Championship game. Connecticut stayed alive and hopes to move forward on Thursday while the boys from Japan advanced to Saturday’s International Championship. Here’s a look at the scores and schedules.
Connecticut 12, New Jersey 2
Japan 10, Canada 0 (5 innings)
North Carolina 2, Texas 1
Thursday’s Games (Elimination Games):
3 p.m.—Canada vs. Mexico (ESPN)
7:30 p.m.—Connecticut vs. Texas (ESPN)
U.S. Player of the Day—Troy Ashkinos, Connecticut
Leading the high-powered Connecticut offense past New Jersey in its elimination game was right fielder Troy Ashkinos. His shining moment came in the fourth when he broke open a 5-2 game with a grand slam to center. Adding a late single, Troy finished 2-for-2 with five RBIs and two runs scored. Connecticut faces another must-win game on Thursday against Texas.
International Player of the Day—Natsuki Yajima, Japan
Natsuki started the day with a first-inning RBI single and stayed hot from there. He blasted a two-run bomb in the third inning and added a single in the fourth, eventually coming around to score as Japan closed out Canada in five innings with the 10-run rule. He finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Japan advances to the International Championship game on Saturday.
BA Intern Conor Hynes contributed to this report