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“Oh yeah,” Smith said, “I did tell them they could go to Dairy Queen.”

Connecticut plans to stick around Williamsport for a little while so the players can finally enjoy some time with their families after three weeks of tournament play. Manage Bill Meury gathered a Fairfield all-star team that’s played together for three summers for one final meeting in left field.

“You guys are like brothers. The (coaches) love you guys, and we’ve had a great three years together,” Meury said in recounting the meeting. “You should walk off this field with your head held high because you gave Fairfield one of the best summers they’ve had in a little while.”

Earlier Tuesday, 11-year-old Ronald Olaa put Uganda in front when scored from second on a throwing error in the bottom of the fifth.

Manager Henry Odong said he urged his team to just make contact because hitting had been a challenge in South Williamsport.

Uganda plans to play more exhibition games this week, but the players already have become Little League stars. They are being hounded by young autograph-seekers, and Odong was stopped several times by fans for pictures while going to his seat in the stands to watch California’s victory.

“I’m thankful we could come here,” Odong said. “This win was so great.”

Mexico also was feeling pretty good after clinching a spot in Thursday night’s international semifinals. Ramon Ballina hit a three-run drive for his third homer of the tournament.

The World Series success is hardly a surprise for the 13-year-old pitcher.

“I hit the ball better in our national tournament, actually,” Ballina said through an interpreter.

Mexico played without manager Fernando Rios, who was suspended for two games after a player on his roster did not bat during a 4-3 victory over Taiwan on Monday night.

Coach Cesar Mata took over for Rios.

“I was worried when I get up this morning,” Mata said. “We got the kids together and had a long talk in the dorms. They listened and they were very relaxed. I didn’t worry about it after that.”

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Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP