WESTFIELD, IND. – Coon Rapids-Andover scored seven runs in the final two innings for an 8-6 comeback victory over Johnston, Iowa, to win the Midwest Region and advance to the Little League World Series for the first time.
With one run already in, the score was tied at 5-5 in the sixth inning when Jameson Kuznia hit a three-run homer to straightaway center field.
Johnston, which beat Coon Rapids-Andover 3-1 on Thursday in the region tournament by scoring two runs in the final inning, led 5-1 after two innings in their second meeting.
Carson Timm, who relieved in the second inning and pitched into the sixth, was the winning pitcher for Minnesota. He gave up one run. Jaxon Knutson got the save, recording a swinging strikeout with the bases loaded for the final out.
Johnston scored one run in the sixth on four walks and a sacrifice fly to deep left.
Minnesota is one of eight teams in the double-elimination U.S. bracket. It will open against Bowling Green (Ky.) East, the Great Lakes region champion, at 6 p.m. Thursday (ESPN2). Bowling Green defeated a team from Illinois 15-6 in its region final.
This was the third Midwest championship for a Minnesota team and first since 2010 when Plymouth-New Hope advanced. Brooklyn Center won a region title in 1994.
Minnesota teams are 1-5 at the LLWS.