Japan rolls to LLWS title
South Williamsport, PA (Sports Network) - Noriatsu Osaka, Yuta Ishida and Kotaro Kiyomiya helped Japan topple Goodlettsville, Tennessee, 12-2, in five innings to capture the 2012 Little League World Series championship.
Osaka went 4-for-4 with three home runs and four RBI, Ishida homered and drove in three and Kiyomiya struck out eight and allowed just one hit -- Brock Myers' solo homer -- in four innings on the hill.
The win gave manager Yoichi Kubo his second LLWS title and marked the eighth for Japan, which has played in the Williamsport finale five of the past seven years.
Myers made history in the fourth inning when he became the first U.S. player to hit a home run in five straight LLWS games.
But Tennessee, less than 24 hours removed from winning the U.S. title in a wild 24-16 seven-inning win over Petaluma, California, could not keep up with the undefeated team from Japan.
Justin Smith, who had not pitched in the regionals or the LLWS, surrendered five runs in three innings and Blake Osborne also gave up five runs for the over-worked Tennessee pitching staff.
This was the first time a team from Tennessee reached the final of the LLWS.
Japan, which defeated Panama, 10-2, on Saturday, scored twice in the first inning, once on Kiyomiya's RBI single and the other when Rintaro Hirano was plunked with the bases loaded.
Osaka, who opened the game with a triple, made it 3-0 with a solo shot in the second frame, and Ishida added a two-run blast in the third.
The Japanese answered Myers' homer with five runs in the bottom half of the fourth, highlighted by another homer by Osaka and a two-run shot by Hirano.
Lorenzo Butler, who hit a trio of three-run homers on Saturday, added to his total with a solo round-tripper in the top of the fifth, but Osaka ended things early in the bottom half with his two-run homer over the center-field wall.
Earlier Sunday, the team from Petaluma, California took the consolation game with a 12-4 win over Panama.
Bradley Smith went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored for California, which, bounced back from Saturday's crushing loss in the U.S. title game.
08/26 17:27:08 ET