Mexico’s Little League team beat Canada 6-2 yesterday to advance to the final in the international division of the Little League baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The Mexican team, from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, will go up against Japan Saturday for the international title. The winner of that game will play the finalist in the United States division on Sunday.
Mexico leads the standings among the 16 teams — eight international and eight from the U.S. — with four wins and one loss.
Japan could be tough competition for Mexico on Saturday. Its team has chalked up a 3-0 record at the World Series, which began last Thursday, including a 10-0 drubbing against Canada.
And Japan has beaten Mexico in their last three games, in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
Mexico last won the Little League divisional championship in 1997. Before that it had back-to-back wins in 1957 and 1958.
Strong pitching might save the day Saturday. Mexico won three consecutive shutouts during the past week against Italy, South Korea and Venezuela.
Yesterday’s loss was an emotional one for the Canadian team, which hails from White Rock, British Columbia. The team’s run was described as historic, being the best performance by Canada in nearly 20 years.
Tears ran freely after the game, but coach Keith Fluet described his team’s two-and-two record as “an amazing accomplishment,” and Canada’s second best record at the annual event.
“This is the greatest baseball experience of a kid’s life,” Fluet said. “There’s nothing better than this.”