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Florida, Tennessee win, make final

Jul. 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

CEREDO-KENOVA -- Dominic Lafalce lined a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday night to lift Keystone (Fla.) to a 6-5 victory over Mechanicsville (Va.) in the first semifinal in the Little League Baseball age 9-10 Tournament of State Champions at Mitch Stadium.

Keystone of Odessa, Fla., advances to the title game Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. against Goodlettsville (Tenn.), which rolled to a 9-2 win over Oconee County (Ga.) in the second semifinal. Both teams come into the championship game with 4-0 records.

Players from Mechanicsville, Va. and Oconee County from Watkinsville, Ga., received bronze medals.

Mechanicsville, which lost to Keystone, 14-7, in pool play, looked as though it would atone for that loss when Jack Hawley smacked a 3-run home run to right field in the top of the seventh inning for a 5-2 lead.

However, Keystone worked its comeback magic again. Keystone took advantage of walks and wild pitches to score three times in the bottom of the seventh inning and extend the game. Lafalce and Bobby Christy knocked in a run each on infield groundouts and Ty Bitman's infield single brought in the tying run.

In the eighth inning, Chase Jackson, the third Florida pitcher who would get the win, lined a double to left field and went to third on a wild pitch. Ryan Lowder then drew a walk to set the stage for Lafalce, who lined the first pitch he saw to left for the winner.

"Our kids never give up," Keystone coach Jay Jackson said. "After the homer, I said, 'oh my gosh.' I told the kids to be patient at the plate. They gave us some walks and we made it happen. Once we tied it, the momentum changed."

Chase Jackson is the manager's son. Dad said his son showed toughness by bouncing back after giving up the three-run homer.

"He got the double and came in to score," coach Jackson said. "I'm pretty proud. Dominic got his pitch and drove it. The pressure was on their pitcher."

Keystone is seeking its third consecutive TOSC title and fourth overall. A Tennessee team has yet to take home the championship.

Goodlettsville rode homers from Ty Reeves and Luke Fleming to lead Oconee County, 5-0, after four innings. Reeves had a 3-run shot in the first and Fleming a 2-run blast in the fourth. Brown Norton added a 2-run double in the fifth inning when the home side got six hits and scored four times.

Thomas Lane Saxon had a solo homer in the fourth inning for the first Georgia run.

MECHANICSVILLE 200 000 30 -- 5 6 1

KEYSTONE 010 010 31 -- 6 10 1

W -- Jackson.

Hitting: (V) Hawley HR, 3 RBIs; Richardson 2B, Mays 2-3, 2B. (F) Johnston 2-4, Jackson 2-3, 2B, RBI; Lafalce 2B, 3 RBIs; Christy RBI, Bitman RBI.

OCONEE COUNTY 000 110 -- 2 5 1

GOODLETTSVILLE 300 24x -- 9 13 2

W -- Fleming.

Hitting: (G) Lane Saxon HR, RBI; Lewis 2B. (T) Fleming 3-3, HR, 3 RBIs; Powell 2-4, Reeves 2-2, HR, 3 RBIs; Norton 2B, 2 RBIs; Miller RBI.