US teams to rematch in title game

By Patrick Burns

The Associated Press

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Those who had hoped to see a rematch of last week’s 11-inning thriller between Hawaii and Georgia at the Little League World Series got their wish.

The two teams will meet again today, this time with a championship berth on the line. The winner of the game for the U.S. title will face the victor of Japan and South Korea on Sunday.

THE STORY SO FAR: As Hurricane Lane nears landfall back home, Hawaii is making the most of its dream 4,000 miles away in South Williamsport. The team, which hails from Honolulu, is undefeated through three games and has outscored its opponents 20-3. Coming off of an impressive 10-0 victory over New York’s Staten Island, Hawaii has all of its pitching available and is the only team on the American side of the bracket with more than one home run.

While Georgia’s 2-0 loss to Hawaii last week has made its run to the U.S. championship game more difficult, the team from Peachtree City has reeled off three consecutive victories and is 4-1 overall. Shortstop and pitcher Tai Peete is having a tournament to remember both at the plate and on the mound. Peete is batting .412 through five games and threw four shutout innings against New York on Thursday.

Japan now the underdog

The international bracket final Saturday at the Little League World Series will be a rematch of the two teams that have looked the best so far on that side the tournament — Kawaguchi, the representative of defending champion Japan, and Seoul, South Korea.

The twist is that Japan, the LLWS team of the decade, may be the underdog.

The winner gets either Hawaii or Georgia, the teams in the U.S. final, in the championship on Sunday.

THE STORY SO FAR: On Wednesday, the two teams faced off and it was not close. Seoul won 10-0 in four innings. Little League games run six innings, but this one was called early under the mercy rule.

Kim Yeong-Hyeon was on the mound for Seoul, earning a one-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts on only 49 pitches.

Japan fell to the lower side of the double-elimination bracket, where it edged Puerto Rico 1-0 on Thursday.