All roads lead to Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
With the Little League World Series less than a week away, teams from around the United States were playing to secure their berth in the annual event on Saturday. Below, we'll recap those results and key moments from another day of Little League baseball.
Hawaii def. Arizona, 4-1
Hawaii will again be represented at Williamsport this year after they topped Arizona 4-1.
Arizona gained an early 1-0 lead with an RBI single from Cristobal Lorta in the bottom of the first. They maintained that lead until Jaren Pascual smacked a three-run homer in the top of the third. Hawaii added one more in the top of the sixth when Logan Kuloloia hit a solo home run.
Kuloloia succeeded on the mound, too. He tossed a complete game with five strikeouts and two hits allowed.
This year, it will be Central East Maui that will compete in the Little League World series after Honolulu won the championship last summer.
New Jersey def. New York, 19-4
New Jersey has plenty of momentum to carry with them to Williamsport after defeating New York by 15 runs.
Yamil Soto and Jayden Capindica each had four RBI, with four other New Jersey players each batting in two runs. The outcome was foreshadowed by Sal Garcia's double to lead off the game.
On the mound for New Jersey, J.R. Rosado struck out 11 and allowed three earned runs on three hits throgh 4.1 innings pitched. Rosato also went 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBI.
Yadi Mateo relieved Rosado and struck out two batters in 1.2 no-hit scoreless innings.
In the loss for New York, Gabriel Reyes struck out seven.
Kentucky def. Illinois, 15-6
Kentucky's productive day at the plate slid them into the Little League World Series as they ousted Illinois 15-6.
Through the first two innings—including a nine-run top of the second—fielding errors and defensive indifference on Illinois' part allowed Kentucky to open up a 12-1 lead.
Among the most productive hitters for Kentucky were Evan Schallert and William Alexander. Schallert went 2-for-4, including the game's only triple, for an RBI and two runs scored. Alexander also went 2-for-4, knocking in two runs and earning a walk.
What's more: Kentucky plated 15 but left 12 more runners on base.
Illinois tried to ignite a comeback with a four-run bottom of the fourth that included an RBI double from Nic Lissuzzo as well as RBI singles by Luke Hickey and A.J. Kilburg. However, the deficit was too vast.
Oregon def. Idaho, 5-4
Oregon became the third team to clinch a spot in the Little League World Series on Saturday, beating Idaho 5-4.
Two runs in the top of the sixth, including Henry Mhoon stealing home, put Oregon in the driver's seat. Despite managing just five hits on the afternoon, Oregon pushed across five runs, aided by Idaho's four errors. Oregon also showed patience at the plate, walking seven times.
That spoiled a solid showing from Lars Bazler (two hits, two runs).
Rhode Island def. New Hampshire, 6-4
Welcome to Williamsport, Rhode Island.
The team from Barrington knocked off New Hampshire on Saturday 6-4 behind Owen Pfeffer's huge day at the plate (four hits, three RBI) and on the mound, where he pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on nine hits.
Rhode Island went into the top of the fourth trailing 2-1, but a four-run inning put them ahead for good, led by Pfeffer's two-run single.
That spoiled solid games from Adam Lafond (two runs) and Dillon Gaudet (three hits, one run).
Minnesota def. Iowa, 8-6
Minnesota's late-game heroics propelled them to Williamsport.
Buoyed by a three-run fifth inning and four-run sixth, Minnesota defeated Iowa 8-6, clinching a spot in the Little League World Series.
Drew Law and Jameson Kuznia had three RBI apiece for the Minnesota squad, and Kuznia added a homer, while Cayden Alphin and Jaxon Knutson scored two runs each. Minnesota used five different pitchers, including Carson Timm (one run on three hits in four innings), to secure the win.
A few nifty defensive plays helped the cause:
It spoiled another big game from Will Nuss, who had a homer, two RBI and two runs.
Iowa took a 5-1 lead into the top of the fifth, when Minnesota's bats awoke, booking their trip to Williamsport in the process.