Tokyo team brings LLWS back to Japan

Tokyo team brings LLWS back to Japan

Tokyo team brings LLWS back to Japan
The offense flowed freely for Goodlettsville, Tenn., on Saturday night, when they outlasted Petaluma, Calif., 24-16, to win the United States championship at the Little League World Series.

But the hits slowed to a trickle in Sunday's World Series championship tilt against Tokyo, Japan, as the international champions completed their unbeaten run through the tournament. Their 12-2 victory in five innings provided the country's eighth championship overall and second in the past three years.

Japan did it behind a pitching staff that dominated throughout the team's stay in Williamsport, Pa. In six games, the Tokyo squad allowed seven runs and never more than two in a single contest.

On Sunday, all of Tennessee's offense came on two swings: Brock Meyers' solo home run off starter Kotaro Kiyomiya in the fourth inning, and Lorenzo Butler's solo shot off reliever Noriatsu Osaka in the fifth. Kiyomiya struck out eight, walked one and gave up the one hit in four innings of work for the win.

He also had plenty of support, as Japan scored in each inning. Leadoff hitter Osaka did the most damage, smacking a trio of homers and adding a triple in four at-bats. Yuta Ishida and Rintaro Hirano also homered.

Osaka tripled and scored on Kiyomiya's single in the first inning, and Japan led 5-0 after three before a five-run fourth blew the game wide open.

The results were better for the U.S. earlier on Sunday, with California notching a 12-4 victory over Panama in the consolation game.

Bradley Smith collected two of California's five doubles and drove in three runs, while Logan Douglas tossed five innings of relief for the win.

Panama scored a run in the top of the first inning, but Smith's RBI double ignited a four-run response in the bottom of the frame. His two-run double highlighted a four-run second, and Panama never recovered.

After Quinton Gago started and threw one inning, Douglas came on and held Panama to three runs, two earned, on six hits. He struck out six and issued no walks, while also going 2-for-4 at the plate.

Andrew Simon is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.