SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) – Talk about a net gain for Rancho Buena Vista.

A disputed call went its way, and now the team from California is on the way to the United States title game at the Little League World Series.

An apparent three-run home run by Maitland, Fla., was instead ruled a double, and that was the break Rancho Buena Vista needed in a 6-2 semifinal victory Wednesday night.

“We play all year setting goals,” Rancho Buena Vista manager Marty Miller said. “Now our goal is to get to the (World Series) championship game.”

In an international semifinal game Wednesday, Japan was an 11-0 winner over Surrey, British Columbia.

Guam will play defending series champion Willemstad, Curacao, and West Oahu of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, will face Lafayette, La., in the other semis on Thursday.

The world championship is Sunday.

The controversial play came in the bottom of the third with Maitland down 2-0.

With two runners on and two out, Mike Tomlinson laced a line drive off winning pitcher Kalen Pimentel that hit about a foot up the netting attached to the left-field foul pole, hit the top of the wall and bounced back into play.

Tomlinson thought he homered, but the umps immediately ruled the hit a two-run double. Maitland manager Sid Cash dashed out to argue, but – without the benefit of replay – the call was not reversed.

“It just hurt the momentum for us,” Cash said. “I think if we’re up 3-2, we’d have the lead and then see how they’d respond. It has an affect on everything.”

Japan 11, Canada 0

Takuya Sakamoto tossed one-hit ball over four shutout innings, and Yusuke Taira hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs to lead Japan over Surrey, British Columbia.

“This is the hitting I was hoping for through the whole series,” Chiba City manager Hirofumi Oda said through an interpreter. The game was stopped after Surrey hit in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Sakamoto was sharp in his second start of the series for Chiba City (4-0), the Asia champion.

He struck out six and walked none, his only baserunner coming when he gave up Nathan de la Feraude’s clean, two-out single to left in the third.

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