Starting pitcher Bradley Smith struck out seven and went 4-for-4 at the plate, and Petaluma, Calif., held on for a 6-4 victory over Fairfield, Conn., on Thursday in the Little League World Series.

The 13-year-old Smith strikes an imposing pose with his 6-foot-3 frame. He homered to center, doubled twice and added a sixth-inning single.

But California couldn't shake Connecticut. Will Lucas tripled home a run before scoring on a passed ball to get Connecticut within a run in the bottom of the fifth.

Connecticut threatened again in the sixth, but reliever Andrew White got a double play and strikeout to end the game. The 12-year-old lefty pumped his fist after he left the mound to be greeted by giddy teammates.

Biagio Paoletta homered for Connecticut.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.