Southwest Wins U.S. Championship 6-5
Southwest won over Southeast 6-5 in much the same way their previous matchup ended―with late-inning heroics. Southeast won three days earlier in extra innings 2-1, but this time Southwest made Texas proud by pulling out the victory and taking home the United States Championship.
Down 5-4 in the top of the sixth, Mark Requena (3-3) went deep to left with a two-run homer, igniting the Southeast fans while a jubilant team surrounded home plate to greet him. He scored Collin Ross, who was hit by a pitch. Ross also threw 4.2 innings and struck out five with no walks.
Clayton Wigley went deep as well, blasting his second Series homer in the top fourth, scoring pinch runner Zach Phipps after a single by Requena. Wigley’s blast came at a much-needed time for Southwest, when they were down 5-0.
Southeast struck first with Bryce Jackson (1-3) hitting a two-run single to left, scoring Cameron Greenway (1-2) and JoeJoe Byrne (2-2) in the bottom second. In the next inning, Byrne hit another two-run single that scored Thomas Barrett (1-3) and Drew Fields. He then crossed home again on a Chase Anderson RBI groundout.
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Down 5-0 in the top fourth, Southwest battled back with Wigley’s deep shot, then Malcolm Deason (1-3) singled home Blake Slaga, who was pinch-running for Charlie Deaton (1-1), and then Deason scored on a catcher’s error.
After Requena’s two-run homer put southwest in the lead 6-5, winning pitcher Chip Buchanan (two strikeouts, no hits) pitched the final 1.1 innings and kept Southeast’s bats quiet.
Japan Blanks Mexico 5-0
In a much-anticipated matchup of pitching prowess, Japan defeated Mexico 5-0, advancing to the Little League World Series Final against Southwest and winning the International Championship.
While Mexico utilized four talented pitchers―Jorge Garcia, Samuel Juarez, Erick Vazquez and Carlos Garcia―to throw for five innings and strike out 12 total, Japan’s Riku Goto struck out 13 over 5.2 innings, with just four hits and one walk. Keitaro Miyahara struck out the final batter to end the game.
Japan scored four runs in the first, and that was all they needed. Keitaro Miyahara (1-3) blasted a solo home run, followed by a Yuya Nakajima (2-2) single that scored Ryota Ono and Natsuki Yajima (1-3), and then a score by Seiya Arai (1-1, 2 BB) on a wild pitch. Japan added its final run on an RBI single by Goto (1-2), scoring Ryusei Fujiwara.
Despite a double by Cesar Monjaraz (2-3) and singles by Saul Soto, Francisco Elizondo, Jorge Lambarria and Monjaraz, Japan’s hurlers kept Mexico in check, following each hit or walk with a strikeout.
Japan looks like it is poised to take yet another LLWS title, with its hitting and pitching reaching a peak.
Mark Requena, Southwest: 3-3, game-winning home run, 2 RBI
JoeJoe Byrne, Southeast: 2-2, home run, 2 RBI, 2 R
Riku Goto, Japan: pitched 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 13 K; hit 1-2, 1 RBI
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