- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) - Their gold-and-white sunglasses flipped upside down on the brims of their caps, Joshua Houston, Marquis Jackson and Darion Radcliff filed into the interview room at the Little League World Series brimming with confidence.

Houston pitched five-hit ball over five innings and drove in three runs, his defense rescued him with two double plays, and the Great Lakes champions beat Pearland, Texas, 6-1 on Tuesday night in an elimination game.

Another victory for the all-black Chicago squad from Jackie Robinson West Little League means they’ll play again.

“I’m confident,” Houston said.

Chicago jumped to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a run-scoring single to right field by Jackson, a throwing error, and Houston’s RBI groundout.

“That was huge,” Chicago manager Darold Butler said. “I think it relaxes the team. It just makes things a lot easier when teams have to chase us.”

Houston doubled home two more runs in the fourth and held Texas at bay until the sixth, when Jackson came on in relief and struck out the side.

“I’m excited for the kids, for the city of Chicago, for the state of Illinois,” Butler said. “We’re sleeping in. Just keep everything relaxed. Them still being in a bubble, it’s not overwhelming for them.”

Chicago will play the loser of Wednesday night’s game between hard-hitting Las Vegas and hard-throwing Mo’ne Davis and her Philadelphia teammates, and the Chicago players plan to be there.

Las Vegas routed Chicago 13-2 in four innings on Sunday.

Pearland’s season didn’t end the way manager Don Smith had envisioned. He was happy for his kids, nonetheless.

“I told the boys to look around and take it all in,” Smith said. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It ended a little sooner than we wanted. They have no idea what they’ve done - fourth in the United States.”

Pearland’s lone run came on Joshua Gabino’s double in the third inning. Walter Maeker III, pitching for the first time in a month, was the loser despite a game effort.

Chicago star Pierce Jones, who leads the Little League World Series with four home runs, injured a leg on a hard-hit ball to right field early in the game, but Butler said he was OK.

MEXICO 11, VENEZUELA 1

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