SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Kazuki Ishida homered to centre field in the bottom of the fifth inning to snap a 2-all tie and spark a game-changing rally, and Japan beat Mexico 5-2 on Wednesday to earn a berth in the international championship game of the Little League World Series.
Ishida's blast came off Tijuana starter Ramon Mendoza. Kouyou Mizushima followed with an RBI single and pinch-hitter Kyousuke Kobayashi capped Tokyo's winning rally with an RBI double off the left-centre field wall.
Mexico (2-1) will play Aguadulce, Panama, on Thursday in a rematch. Mendoza hit two of Tijuana's five home runs in a 13-0 four-inning win over Panama on Sunday in the winners' bracket. That game was stopped because of Little League's 10-run rule.
Westport, Conn., faced powerful Chula Vista, Calif., under the lights in Wednesday's other game in the double-elimination tournament.
Jorge Rodriguez doubled down the left-field line over the outstretched glove of Kobayashi to score Romero from first and give Mexico a 1-0 lead in the second.
Mizushima had a hustling double to right centre and scored on a two-out single up the middle by Ryusei Hirooka to tie it in the bottom of the inning.
Brandon Montes put Mexico back up with a homer to left-centre in the third and Japan tied it when pinch-hitter Seiya Nishino crushed a 1-0 pitch from Mendoza to left in the fourth.