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Little League World Series: Petaluma's Run Ends in 24-16 Battle With Tennessee

Petaluma scored 10 runs in sixth inning to send the game into extras.

To explain how Tennessee advanced to Little League World Series Championship game with a 24-16 victory over Petaluma National Little League on Saturday in South Williamsport, Pa. is simpler than it seems.

Petaluma almost got single-handedly ten-run ruled by Tennessee’s Lorenzo Butler in the first six innings of Saturday’s U.S. Championship game. Butler’s three three-run home runs for Tennessee broke the Little League World Series record for most RBIs in a game with nine, and gave his team a 15-5 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Coming to bat at what seemed to be its final chance, Petaluma manager Eric Smith was heard telling his team on a ESPN microphone it wasn’t over yet, despite the score seeming to show otherwise.

“Whatever you do don’t give up,” Smith was heard telling his team. “Have a good approach, do what you got to do. Finish strong.”

Petaluma whittled away at the 10-run deficit, getting it to just four runs when they recorded the second out of the frame. Seemingly at the brink, Petaluma powered its way back into things. A Bradley Smith double scored Logan Douglas to make it 15-12. Kempton Brandis, down to his last strike, then crushed a two-run home run to left field to make it 15-14.

Then Hance Smith came to the plate, and found himself down to his final strike, only to blast an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall to complete the comeback at 15-15, sending the game into extras, but the jubilance of the big comeback didn’t last long.

Tennessee scored nine runs in the top of the seventh to put the game away for good, and ending Petaluma's chance for a World Series title.

Bradley Smith led Petaluma with three RBIs and Hance Smith, Danny Marzo and Logan Douglas each plated two runs.

Petaluma will play Panama in the consolation game tomorrow at 8 a.m. on ESPN. Pacific time while Tennessee will face Japan for the championship at 12 p.m. Pacific time on ABC.

Brent Ainsworth August 26, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Fantastic job on the coverage, Peter. Thanks so much from all the Northy Bay fans.
PK August 26, 2012 at 12:19 AM
YEAH!! Great job. Petaluma.
Bob August 26, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I have to get up and applaud these Petaluma kids, they played some great baseball and the coach sounded like the kind of guy that you would want to have coach your kids.
Susan August 26, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Heroes...each and every player!!! What a great example this team, their coaches and their families are to the world. Thank you!
nick s August 26, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I couldn't be prouder to be a Northern Californian because of this team...Deep in talent, hearts of a lion, and highly intelligent, from the coach on down...CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
Martin Jones August 26, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Congratulations Nationals. You have made your state very proud! Martin
Penny Locke August 26, 2012 at 03:10 AM
You're our heros. What a extraordinary team you are!
Tom O'Doul August 26, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Petaluma. Awesome. We are so very proud of you. You are the Champions!
W. Paul Bemis August 26, 2012 at 03:49 AM
What a great showing. Great attitudes, great talent, great coaching! Petaluma Nationals you made us all proud. We look forward to welcoming you back!
Peter Fournier August 26, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Thanks Brent, I appreciate it.
Marcia Parker August 26, 2012 at 06:06 AM
These kids rock!!!!!!!
DeLacy August 26, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Excellent job! We love you in New Jersey.. We had the entire community watching these Petaluma players. I am so proud of you and your coaches. Shout out to Andre Davis! You should be proud of your entire organization for a job well done!
Novato Chess Club August 26, 2012 at 01:59 PM
simply fantastic....
Aubrey Barajas August 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM
So, so, so proud to have you represent the West! Your attitudes and sportsmanship is beyond amazing. You played a really great game. You are ALL great players, coaches and parents! Wish we could be there to greet you Monday but will be there for sure on Sunday!
Anastasia L. Schuster August 26, 2012 at 02:39 PM
What an amazing experience. The announcers towards the end of the game said it was the best national championship game in the LLWS they had ever seen. Way to go guys, you've done not only Petaluma, but Sonoma County...California...heck the whole West Coast of the United States proud as you were representing all of us!!! P-Town Pride..............
Lilly Mc Donald August 26, 2012 at 03:44 PM
The coaches were so encouraging-more than I can say about many of the Little League coaches in Sonoma that scream at their kids and offer filthy looks when they do something wrong. Win or lose, I am so proud of these boys, simply amazing!
Gabrielle Cullen August 26, 2012 at 04:02 PM
The game gave me chills, everyone was screaming and cheering. Such a wonderful moment, thanks boys!!!!! What a special memory. Go Petaluma!!!
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr August 26, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Great run, great effort, great kids. Congratulations.
Ptown August 26, 2012 at 06:08 PM
C'mon Patch, don't drop the ball w/ your coverage of the Petaluma Nationals like you did when their quest began. Don't let the same old folk continue to conrol what is on this site, unless it gets too popular elsewhere to ignore. The run did not end. Petaluma won today and is now the 3rd best little league team in the world.
Peter Fournier August 26, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Hey Ptown, we haven't. There will be a short blurb posted soon.
Rayne Wolfe August 26, 2012 at 06:20 PM
This Petaluma Team really brought out the best in everyone. Let's not forget to note that the home pride inspired many amazing acts. I'm so proud that our local movie theatre decided to host benefit showings of the games to support the families on the road and thus freeing them up to forget money concerns and really immerse themselves in the event. All around town viewing communities sprung up - at places as diverse as Ray's and La Dolce Vida. I can't wait for the parade. This will be a unifying experience long after these wonderful kids outgrow their Little League uniforms. Thanks to the coaches for their steady and level-headed leadership. Wow! I think I'm going to need a Sunday afternoon nap after the last few days!
Ptown August 26, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Thanks Peter, are you covering their arrival back into town etc......? Read on other sites there are many plans for their return.
Anne Tique August 26, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Love to hear more about the connection with the team from Uganda.
Peter Fournier August 26, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I was in charge of game coverage because I have been a sports writer for years. Anything after this would be in Karina Ioffee's hands. You can email her with ny questions at karina.ioffee@patch.com. I believe there is a parade at least but not quite sure of what else is planned. I'm sure there's a lot!
Glen Wilson August 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM
As a former member of the National League All Stars (1967) I am so proud of this team and their coaches. Never give up attitude! I'll be honest, I shut the TV off in the 4th inning and didn't see the comeback. Perhaps that is the reason we (the 67 team) didn't go very far. :) Congratulations on a Great Season!
Bernice Lee August 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM
You are the best! Bernice Lee Martha's Vineyard, MA
Louisa Hufstader August 27, 2012 at 11:51 PM
MVY in the house! I am from Edgartown, Bernice! Mom and a bunch of cousins still live around there.
victoria taylor August 28, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Very proud of the tremendous job the kids and coach did!! A life time event for them and something they can be proud of all their lives!! Victoria Taylor, from the other P city, Palmdale Ca!!

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