It was a close call as Japan threatened in the sixth inning with runners in scoring position but the tiny Caribbean island managed to keep Japan at bay and advance to the Little League finals, where it will meet the winner of the game between the US Southwest region and West region.
Thanks to an error, Curaçao took an early lead in the first inning when Jurdrick Profar crossed home plate.
In the top of the third inning, Profar led off with a double to left field and advanced to third base when Farens Wooter got on base thanks to another error by the Japanese defense. When Curaçao loaded the bases, a double by Shendrion Martinus drove in two more runs. But Japan would bounce back in the bottom of the same frame when Daiki Kobari drove in two runs with a double to left field.
A two-run homer in the fifth inning by Curley Martha extended Curaçao’s lead to three runs again.
In the meantime, Shendrion Martinus kept Curaçao in the game in 2.1 innings and gave up two runs on two hits and three walks as he struck out two. His successor, Curley Martha, lasted 3.2 innings and also gave up two runs, of which one was earned, on two hits and a walk as he struck out four.
In the final inning of the game, Japan pushed hard to get alongside as it scored twice and had runners in scoring position. But Curley Martha served up the pitch that ended in a line out to left field and thus earned the win.
Average wise, Deshandro Tromp was the best hitter for Curaçao as he went 1 for 1. Shendrion Martinus and Curley Martha both drove in two runs.