SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) Gael Cortez hit two home runs, struck out three in 1 2/3 innings and Mexico beat Italy 12-7 in an elimination game on Saturday in the Little League World Series.
Cortez, who didn't have a hit in Mexico's 10-2 opening loss to Panama, hit a solo home run in the third inning and added a two-run homer in an eight-run sixth inning that helped stretch Mexico's lead to 12-1.
Jose Leal, Mexico's starting pitcher, struck out five and gave up only two hits in 2 2/3 scoreless innings as the team from San Nicolas moves on to face the loser of Sunday's Canada-South Korea game in another elimination matchup on Monday. Fabian Mar and Victor Juarez each had triples to go with three hits apiece.
Samuele Gamberini singled and scored to pull Italy, from Emilia, to 4-1 in the fourth inning. Gamberini had three of Italy's six hits. Italy will play in a consolation game on Monday.