Japan beats California for 9th LLWS title
South Williamsport, PA (Sports Network) - Ryusei Hirooka's two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning lifted Japan over Chula Vista, Calif., 6-4, in the Little League World Series championship game.
Shunpei Takagi hits two solo home runs and scored three times for Japan, which claimed its ninth Little League World Series title. Takuma Gomi had an RBI and a run scored.
Kazuki Ishida got the start for Japan and allowed four runs on five hits while striking out five over three innings. Kyousuke Kobayashi tossed two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.
Japan won the International championship with a 3-2 victory over Mexico on Saturday.
Giancarlo Cortez knocked in two runs for California, which cruised past Westport, Conn. by a 12-1 margin in the U.S. title game. Grant Holman had an RBI.
Holman got the start for California and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on four hits while walking five and striking out five over three full frames. Ricky Tibbett allowed three runs on four hits over 1 1/3 innings to take the loss.
Trailing 4-3, Japan scored three times in the fifth to take the lead. Takagi led off with a homer to center. Gomi and Kobayashi singled before both runners moved up one base on a wild pitch. With one out, Hirooka cleared the bases with a double down the left-field line.
Keita Saito tossed a scoreless sixth to secure the victory for Japan.
The score was tied at two after one inning. In the third, Takagi homered to give Japan a 3-2 edge.
California responded with two runs in the fourth. Micah Pietila-Wiggs doubled, Jake Espinoza singled and Nick Mora was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Pietila-Wiggs was called out at home when Holman grounded into a fielder's choice. Cortez followed with a two-run single to left, making it 4-3 California.
Earlier in the day, Miguel Artalejo belted a three-run homer to snap a fifth-inning tie and Saul Favela provided the winning margin later in the inning with an RBI double, as Mexico held on for a 15-14 win over Connecticut in the consolation game of the Little League World Series.
Mexico came up a run short in the International championship game on Saturday, but four homers helped the team from Tijuana to Sunday's win.
Brandon Montes homered in a three-run second inning, Ramon Mendoza ignited a four-run third with a leadoff shot and Favela added a two-run blast in a three-run fourth for the Mexican squad, which still found itself in an 11-11 tie heading to the home fifth after the Connecticut team scored five in the top of the inning.
Martin Gonzalez and Mendoza each singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth and Artalejo followed with a homer to center field for a 14-11 lead. Favela added an RBI double later in the inning for some much-needed insurance.
Chad Knight finished his two-homer, seven-RBI game with a three-run blast in the top of the sixth to pull Westport within one. After a walk to Harry Azadian, Mat Stone bounced back to the mound for the final out.
Stone, Azadian and Matt Brown also homered in defeat.
08/25 18:51:19 ET