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.
TOKYO 10, AGUADULCE, PANAMA 2
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.”