SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. Jorge Romero put Mexico in front with one big swing, and then he finished the job from the mound.
Romero hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh as Tijuana, Mexico, rallied past Aguadulce, Panama, 4-2 Thursday night to earn a berth in the international championship game at the Little League World Series.
Jorge Rodriguez reached on a bunt single before Romero connected against Edgardo Rosales, sending a drive over the wall in center.
"I was just thinking my job was to get a hit and get on base so I could score a run," Romero said.
The rain-delayed victory set up a rematch between Mexico and Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday. Tokyo beat Tijuana 5-2 on Wednesday.
The second game on Thursday's slate between Westport, Conn., and Sammamish, Wash., for a berth in the U.S. final against Chula Vista was moved to today.
Mexico went ahead 2-1 in the fifth. Brandon Montes led off with a long drive to left-center for his fourth World Series homer, and Alex Artalejo added an RBI single.
Panama scored on a pair of sacrifice flies by Jordan Agrazal in the first and fifth innings.
"It was a big game, and the kids did their best," Panama manager Luis Gonzalez said. "They battled back the final inning. It's a team that won 26 games, and Panama should be proud of them."
The game was delayed for 95 minutes in the seventh inning, and Panama threatened in its final at-bat after play resumed.
Jean Mar Sanchez led off with a single to center, and Juan Crisp had a base hit with one out. Agrazal was ruled safe on a grounder to second when first baseman Luis Corral was late covering, but the call was overturned after a video replay as Mexico's boisterous fans roared in approval.
That put two runners in scoring position, but Romero struck out Rafael Eysseric swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end it.