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Have mercy, Petaluma wins again!

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — During the telecast of Petaluma National's elimination game against McAllistar Park National of San Antonio, ESPN2 flashed a screen shot of Google Earth as it zoomed down on Petaluma, somewhere in all that bumpy green between the Pacific and the Central Valley.

Thirteen happy-go-lucky Little Leaguers are truly putting their city on the map.

LLWS: Petaluma National Beats Texas

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The Petaluma all-stars tried a different approach Thursday. After a series of close, tense wins, they won going away against the Southwest representative, scoring six runs in the first inning and breezing to an 11-1 victory that was called after five innings because of the 10-run "mercy" rule.

Petaluma National, which had to play out of the losers' bracket in two previous tournaments and won the West region on a controversial appeal play, now stands one win away from the United States Little League championship. Roll that one around on your tongue for a while.

After the lopsided win against a talented San Antonio team, on the heels of a 5-0 victory over Fairfield, Conn., manager Eric Smith has no reason to doubt his team.


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