SAN BERNARDINO — One swing set the tone for Friday's Little League Baseball Western Regional semifinal game between Ocean View and Napa National.
And it was a big one.
But just barely.
Armando Duarte provided the first-inning fireworks at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, a grand slam that sparked Ocean View to a 5-2 victory. The win sends Ocean View into the regional championship game at 5 p.m. Sunday against the winner of today's late-night second semifinal game between Waipio (Hawaii) and North Scottsdale (Arizona).
The winner of Sunday's game advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
Sunday's regional final will be televised by ESPN2.
"The kids did a great job today," Ocean View Manager Tod Minato said.
Ocean View had the first crack on offense and five batters into the game, Duarte hit his grand slam to give the Southern California regional champions a quick 4-0 lead. Duarte's shot to right field just did clear the fence - and clung just inside the foul pole by about five feet.