(AP) Getting hit in the left foot by a pitch never felt so good to Jose Gonzalez.
As the Aguadulce, Panama, infielder limped his way toward first base, Edgardo Rosales was celebrating on his way home from third to score the decisive run. It happened with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, sealing Panama's 8-7 win over Taoyuan, Taiwan, in a Little League World Series elimination game Tuesday.
"The only thing I was thinking was to try to get on base one way or another," Gonzalez said through interpreter Gilbert Monell. "And after being hit by the pitch I felt very happy."
Down to its last out, Panama rallied with four runs to overcome a 7-4 deficit.
Jordan Agrazal had three RBIs, including a two-run single in the sixth. And Rosales would not have been in a position to score had he not reached base because of a two-out error by Yeh Tung-Jua, who bobbled a grounder to third.
"It was a difficult game. It was important that we won," manager Luis Gonzalez said through Monell. "I congratulate all the kids on the other team for their effort. Our team never gave up, and that made us get the victory."
Panama (3-1) advanced to face one of the two other remaining International Division teams Tijuana, Mexico, or Tokyo on Thursday.
For Taiwan, it was a shocking turn of events for the tournament's youngest team, which includes five 11-year-olds the most of any squad. Several Taiwan players, including catcher Lee Chen-Hsun, broke down in tears following the game.
Panama catcher Juan Crisp and several teammates went over to console their opponents.
"I saw a couple of players on their team crying, and even a couple on our team," manager Gonzalez said. "It was a great game. They're kids. You can expect that."
Taiwan manager Lee Kuo-Chiang provided essentially the same answer in taking only three questions following the game.
"(I) never thought about pulling (the) pitcher because (I) believe the player will do his best, and the player has already learned from the game," Kuo-Chiang said through interpreter Lin Chia-Hsien. "The players did not give up."
Yu Teng-Yao took the loss in relief of Tung-Jua, who was forced to leave with one out in the fifth after reaching his 85-pitch limit.
Taiwan showed plenty of perseverance in rallying to take the lead after giving up four runs in the first inning.
Lee Shu-Ming had a two-run single to cap a six-run third inning that put Taiwan ahead 7-4. Chou Shih-Che drove in two runs on three hits for Taiwan.
Armando Lopez hit a three-run homer in the first inning for Panama.
Earlier in the day, Brno, Czech Republic (1-2), beat Grosse Pointe, Mich. (0-3), 5-3 in a consolation game, ending both teams' tournament.