Japan walks off to top Venezuela, Penn. bests Texas

Japan walks off to top Venezuela, Penn. bests Texas

Two teams punched their tickets to the International and United States Championship games during Wednesday's action at the Little League World Series.

The day began in dramatic fashion, as Japan twice came from behind for a walk-off win against Venezuela in extra innings. After Japan earned its bid to Saturday's International Championship, Pennsylvania shut out Texas to advance to the United States Championship game.

Japan (Tokyo Kitasuna Little League): 5
Venezuela (Cardenales Little League) : 4

Japan scored three runs in the eighth inning to cap a wild game against Venezuela, which had surged ahead in the top of the frame on back-to-back home runs from Jeferson Quero and Yeiner Fernandez.

Venezuela led, 2-1, after four innings and was one out from victory in the bottom of the sixth. But Japan stayed alive as Shingo Tomita blooped a single to score Koki Jo and send the game to extras.

Japan found itself in a hole once again in the eighth, trailing, 4-2. But it rallied behind four hits, an intentional walk and a hit-by-pitch to advance to Saturday's Championship round. Venezuela, meanwhile, will face Mexico on Thursday (4 p.m. ET, ESPN), with the winner advancing to play Japan.

Yugo Aoki delivered the walk-off hit for Japan on a sharp grounder through the right side of the infield with the bases loaded and one out. Aoki also singled in the fifth inning and played the entire game.

Mid-Atlantic (Red Land Little League, Pennsylvania): 3
Southwest (Pearland West Little League, Texas): 0

Pennsylvania took an early lead in the first inning and cruised to victory, remaining undefeated in the tournament. Cole Wagner homered, while Jaden Henline and Jake Cubbler each drove in a run.

Texas loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth, but Henline closed the door with his third strikeout of the inning. Texas will play California on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) with a spot in the U.S. Championship on the line.

Adam Cramer pitched five shutout innings to set the tone for Pennsylvania, striking out 13 and allowing only two walks and three hits. Cramer added a double in his only at-bat.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.