Georgia, Taiwan avoid elimination at LLWS

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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA. (AP) - Every step around the bases and every swing at the plate made Jake Fromm’s back ache.

The 13-year-old slugger from Warner Robins, Ga., had the perfect remedy _ take a hack at the first pitch in each of his first two at-bats.

Fromm’s homer and four RBIs Saturday in a 6-3 win over Rapid City, S.D., at the Little League World Series helped him briefly forget about the pain in the back he hurt in practice earlier in the week.

“It hurt. I’m going to be honest, it hurt,” Fromm said with a wide grin, showing off braces. The first-inning homer to deep center and the third-inning sacrifice fly to the base of the center-field wall both came on first-pitch swings.

“Swing early, you don’t have to worry about it,” Fromm said. “You put the ball in play, only one swing hurts you.”

Those swings hurt South Dakota, too, which was eliminated from contention.

Also Saturday, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, eliminated Oranjestad, Aruba, with a 20-3 victory. Chin-Hao Yang led a 19-hit attack, going for 4 for 4 with three runs.

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, eliminated Rotterdam, Netherlands, with a 4-2 win Saturday night, and Cumberland, R.I., was facing the central Pennsylvania favorites from Clinton County in the nightcap.

Georgia faced the same predicament, too, Saturday, an unusual prospect for the Warner Robins team so early in the World Series.

“Warner Robins! Warner Robins,” yelled the Georgia fans, a familiar refrain in Lamade Stadium during the league’s 2007 run to the World Series crown.

Fromm’s bat provided ample support for starter Logan Arnett, who struck out five in five innings before tiring late.

After Hayden McGriff’s RBI double, Brett Beyer smacked a two-run homer off Arnett on to the hill beyond left field that got South Dakota within three.

“They were nervous. … They know we are capable of coming back. Maybe we should start looking at Little League going eight innings instead of six,” joked Hayden’s father, manage Kasey McGriff.

Too late. After Beyer’s homer, Georgia manager Phillip Johnson brought in his ace, Fromm, who couldn’t pitch Georgia’s World Series opener because of a sore back.

Fromm sandwiched two groundouts around a strikeout to end the game and get the save before coolly exchanging a celebratory fist-bump with his manager.

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