First, James Gonzalez supplied the power.
Then, Edisson Gonzalez supplied the pitching.
It added up to Latin America champ Aguadulce, Panama, advancing to the Little League World Series International title game with a 2-1 victory over Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Thursday at Lamade Stadium.
"It was a difficult game," Panama manager Luis Gonzalez said through an interpreter. "The pitcher did his job and we had a home run at the right time so we won."
It also marked the first time since the tournament expanded to 16 teams in 2001 that a Latin American team reached the International title game. Panama reached the International title game, a rematch with Tokyo, one day after losing to the Japanese team.
This is the farthest a team from what comprises the new Latin American Region has advanced. In 2000, the last eight-team tournament, a team from Maracaibo, Venezuela, won the Series championship before the region was separated from new regions in Mexico and the Caribbean.
And while Panama has represented the new Latin American Region four times since, this is the country's best showing since a team from David reached the 1993 LLWS title game.
James Gonzalez, the manager's nephew, made it 2-0 in the top of the first inning Thursday when his home run to left-center scored Daniel Cruz.
That also was all pitcher Edisson Gonzalez, no relation to either, needed to secure the victory.
Mexico's only run came in the bottom of the fifth when Eduardo Abrego doubled and scored on Marcelo Perez' one-out single. Edisson Gonzalez then retired the side on a fly out and strikeout.
Mexico led off the seventh with Juan Rodriguez' single, but Gonzalez struck out two of the last three hitters for the complete-game victory in 80 pitches.
Edisson Gonzalez finished with 11 strikeouts, no walks and allowed five hits. He's allowed two earned runs in 10 innings pitched here after not allowing one all summer.
"At the beginning of the game I wasn't nervous at all, but in the last inning when the batter got in, I was," Edisson Gonzalez said through an interpreter. "But then we got the game."
Panama threatened little damage on Mexico starter Ramon Ballina after James' Gonzalez home run, with just three hits in the final five innings. It had two two-out hits in the top of the fifth, but a 4-3-2 double play turned by Mexico's Braulio Paez at first base prevented more scoring.
"I thanked God after the opportunity to hit the home run," James Gonzalez said through an interpreter. "But I wasn't so sure we were going to win the game."
It was Luis Gonzalez' second game back as manager after a two-game suspension for failing to meet mandatory play requirements in the Latin American Regional. It also was part of Mexico manager Fernando Rios' two-game suspension for the same offense earlier this week. He declined to be interviewed after the game.
Little League's mandatory play requirements are three consecutive defensive innings and one at-bat for rosters of 13 or more and six consecutive innings and on at-bat for rosters of 12 or fewer. Both Panama and Mexico have 14-player rosters.