Pearland All-Stars fall 7-4 to Washington

August 26, 2010 8:20:00 AM PDT
Ikaika Nahaku had an RBI single before scoring on a wild play following a throwing error, and Isaiah Hatch struck out 12 in relief to lead Washington past Pearland, Texas, 7-4 Wednesday night at the Little League World Series.

Auburn, Wash., avoided elimination for the third straight game and handed Texas its first loss of the tournament to set up a rematch Thursday with a berth in the U.S. final Saturday at stake.

Chris Leger tried to make shoestring grab of Nahaku's blooper to left in the fourth, but the ball bounced off his glove for a hit, allowing a run to score.

After the relay to third, the Texas third baseman's throw to second to try to get Nahaku sailed into the outfield, and Ryan Lacey and Nahaku raced home to give Washington a 5-4 lead.

"I tried to get in a pickle from first to second so Ryan could score," Nahaku said. "I didn't think he was going to throw it because I was almost at the bag."

Lacey said he wasn't nervous with Washington avoiding its second loss a third straight game, but manager Kai Nahaku quickly interjected, "Not me."

"Living on the edge," the skipper said.

Texas manager Mike Orlando said it had been a while since his team had almost as many errors (three) as hits (four).

"I don't think I'll have to say a word about what is at stake," Orlando said about Thursday's rematch. "We have been in this position before. We just need to swing at better pitches and play better defense."