Tennessee beats California in wild US final at Little League World Series

Tennessee's Brock Myers celebrates as he heads home after hitting a two-run homer in the first inning of the U.S. championship game. He later had a key double.

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Brock Myers’ hit a tie-breaking double, and Goodlettsville, Tenn., gave up a 10-run lead in the bottom of the sixth before scoring nine in the seventh in a 24-16 victory Saturday over Petaluma, Calif., for a berth in the Little League World Series title game.

Only California’s 10-run comeback to send the game into extra innings tied at 15 could overshadow Tennessee slugger Lorenzo Butler’s extraordinary day at the plate. Butler set a single-game record with nine RBI, and tied a record with three homers to lead Tennessee.

Cole Tomei had a two-run double in the sixth, and Hance Smith’s solo shot with two outs gave California an improbable 15-15 tie.

The teams combined for 40 runs and 35 hits in a game that lasted more than three hours.

But only Tennessee gets to move on to today’s World Series title game against Japan.


Japan’s big bats helped the team from Tokyo earn a trip to the Little League World Series title game.

Japan hit five homers, including two from 13-year-old slugger Kotaro Kiyomiya, to beat Aguadulce, Panama, for the international championship

The 6-foot Kiyomiya is imposing at the plate. He’s become so known for his power that fans sitting on the hill beyond the right-field fence started holding a “Kotaro Target” sign.

Kiyomiya’s first-inning homer sailed deep down the right-field line.

Japan coach Junji Hidaka would rather his team not rely so much on the long ball come today’s championship.

“We only scored on home runs today, I would advise the players not to try for more homers,” Hidaka said. “We need to string our hits together.”


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