The team from Tennessee moved one step closer to becoming the Little League titans of the United States.
And while Goodlettsville, Tenn., is a fresh face for Saturday's United States title game, the Japanese entry also advanced to its usual weekend spot in the International title game.
Wednesday's doubleheader at Lamade Stadium in the Little League World Series featured games between 2-0 teams, and Tennessee and Japan each advanced to 3-0. Southeast champ Goodlettsville topped Southwest champ San Antonio, Texas, 4-3, while the Kitasuna LL from Tokyo downed Latin American champ Agua-dulce, Panama, 4-1.
Today's games will feature Tuesday's winners against Wednesday's losers. Internationally, it's Panama vs. Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, before San Antonio returns to play Petaluma, Calif.
Today's winners will advance to Saturday's International or U.S. title game. Saturday's winners will play Sunday for the world title.
But talk late Wednesday was over home run distances. Brock Myers' 270-foot home run to left-center propelled Goodlettsville, while Kotaro Kiyomiya hit a 310-foot blast for Tokyo.
Neither player said it was the farthest they'd ever hit, though Goodlettsville manager Joey Hale nudged toward Myers to keep his ego in check during the postgame press conference.
"I think the Japanese kid might have got you," Hale said. "You'll have to tell him when you see him."