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Tennessee, Japan one step closer to LLWS title

Tennessee, Japan one step closer to LLWS title

Tennessee, Japan one step closer to LLWS title
Tennessee and Japan are one win away from a berth in the Little League World Series' title game on Sunday thanks to victories in their respective winners' bracket finals on Wednesday.

Saturday will mark Tennessee's second appearance in the national championship game; the squad from Goodlettsville will face either Texas or California.

Tennessee knocked off the Texas squad (San Antonio) in a thriller on Wednesday night, 4-3, in a meeting of the two remaining unbeaten American sides.

Texas scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead, only give it back in the top of the sixth. Cole Carter's RBI single put Tennessee on top for good, and reliever Luke Brown induced a game-ending double play in the bottom of the sixth.

The two unbeaten international squads met earlier in the day, with Japan (Tokyo) knocking off Panama. Should Japan win its next game and reach the finals, it will be the fifth berth in the last seven years for the 2010 champions.

Kotaro Kiyomiya hit a monster home run in the first inning, and starter Ryuji Osada struck out seven to send Japan to the international final, where they will face the winner of Thursday's Panama-Mexico matchup.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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