Errors proved to be costly Thursday, paving the way for Georgia and Japan to avoid elimination and take the next step toward a Little League World Series crown.
Two errors in the second inning helped Peachtree City Little League of Georgia take the lead and never look back on its way to a 7-3 victory over New York. The victory, Georgia's fourth straight in the LLWS, sets up a rematch with Hawai'i in the U.S. championship game on Saturday (3:30 p.m. on ABC). Last Friday, Hawai'i beat Georgia 2-0 on Aukai Kea's walk-off home run in the 11th inning.
Meanwhile, Japan capitalized on a Puerto Rico error to score the game's only run in a 1-0 win and advance to its eighth international championship game in nine years. Japan next plays South Korea (12:30 p.m. on ABC), which won the first meeting, 10-0, in four innings Wednesday.
Recapping Thursday's games
New York's defensive struggles prove costly
In the bottom of the 2nd inning, New York has a difficult time fielding the ball allowing Georgia to take the lead.
Georgia 7, New York 3
Georgia advances to its first appearance in the U.S. championship game since 2007, when it went on to win the LLWS title.
Georgia has won four straight elimination games; it is the first team since Hawai'i in 2010 to reach the U.S. championship game after losing its tournament opener.
Georgia scored seven unanswered runs after trailing 3-0 entering the bottom of the first inning.
Georgia improved to 3-0 all time against teams from New York -- all from Staten Island.
Starting pitcher Tai Peete (Georgia) settled down after giving up three runs in the first inning. He held New York scoreless for the final four innings.
Peete also contributed at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Also for Georgia, Connor Riggs-Soper had two hits, Jansen Kenty had an RBI triple and two runs scored, and James Hooper hit a two-run double.
Steven Martinez led New York's offense with a triple and a double, and John Calabrese had a two-run double.
Japan capitalizes on Puerto Rico error
Yuya Ito hits a slow roller that the shortstop overthrows to first, putting Japan up for good 1-0.
Japan 1, Puerto Rico 0
Japan reaches the international championship for the 21st time (14-6 in previous 20 appearances). It's the most appearances of any international team since inception of the game in 1976.
Masato Igarashi (Japan) threw 51 pitches in 3 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and striking out five. He is eligible to pitch Sunday.
Shisei Fujimoto (Japan) pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, striking out four and holding Puerto Rico hitless on 24 pitches. He is also eligible to pitch Saturday.
Japan, which had only three hits in the game, scored its only run on an error in the third inning.
Consolation game: Idaho 5, Spain 0
Idaho is 2-4 all time in the LLWS and won for the first time since beating Indiana in 1999.
Spain is 3-26 all time in the LLWS.
Juan Salazar went 3-for-3, accounting for all three of Spain's hits.
Previewing Saturday's games
International championship game: Japan vs. South Korea, 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC
The winner of this game advances to Sunday's LLWS championship (3 p.m. ET on ABC) and will play the winner of the U.S. championship game between Hawai'i and Georgia.
The loser of this game will play in the LLWS third-place game on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET against the loser of the U.S. championship game.
This is a rematch of Wednesday's game in which South Korea beat Japan via the 10-run rule. It was the first time Japan lost via the 10-run rule since 1997 against Mexico.
All pitchers are eligible for South Korea. Masato Igarashi is the only ineligible pitcher for Japan.
This is the first meeting between the two teams since 2014. Japan is 1-3 against South Korea all time, but 17-2 against all other teams since 2014.
Japan lost to the same country multiple times in a single LLWS twice in its history, losing to Mexico both times in 1997 and most recently losing twice to South Korea in 2014.
South Korea is 4-0 all time in the international championships, beating Japan in 2014.
South Korea is one win away from appearing in the LLWS title game for the fifth time in six LLWS appearances.
U.S. championship game: Georgia vs. Hawai'i, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
This will be Georgia's fourth appearance in the U.S. title game; Georgia is 3-0 in previous trips.
For Georgia, Jansen Kenty and Tai Peete are ineligible to pitch for the rest of the tournament.
Hawai'i defeated Georgia 2-0 earlier in the tournament with a walk-off home run in the 11th inning.
This will be the fifth appearance for Hawai'i in the U.S. title game, going 4-0 in previous trips.
Hawai'i has giving up only three runs in 22 innings pitched in this tournament.
Hawai'i has advanced to the LLWS title game in each of three previous trips to Williamsport.
Hawai'i has all of its pitchers eligible for the game.
Justin Page of ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.