SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Casey Manning's homer to dead center field capped a three-run fifth inning that propelled Auburn, Wash., past Plymouth, Minn., 5-2 Saturday night at the Little League World Series.
Manning turned on an 0-1 pitch from Minnesota starter Talor Blustin with two outs in the fifth after Dillon O'Grady's single drove home Isaiah Hatch.
Manning's father, Frank, played in the 1969 World Series for a team from Santa Clara, Calif. The younger Manning raced around the bases after his clutch hit, greeted at home by a throng of teammates who escorted him back to the dugout.
As showers fell on Lamade Stadium, the 13-year-old Manning raced around the bases as if trying to leg out a triple.
"Honestly, I thought it was pop fly," he said. "But when I saw it was a home run, I got excited and I started running faster."
His proud father, wearing a photo pin of his son on his green Washington jersey shirt, said adrenaline propelled Casey.
"He's been a little down because he hasn't hit one over the fence in a while," the elder Manning said. "You could see his confidence come back. ... It was amazing. Amazing."
Minnesota was eliminated after its second loss, though coach Matt Deterding said it hasn't deterred his players' enthusiasm. They still plan to play a consolation round game Monday against an international team.
Ikaiku Nahaku struck out six for Washington and gave up Blustin's RBI single in the first.