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Japan takes LLWS title, beats Tenn. 12-2

By Genaro C. Armas

Associated Press


SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. >> Noriatsu Osaka hit three homers and tripled, and Japan limited Tennessee's potent lineup to two hits in a 12-2 victory Sunday in the Little League World Series title game.

Starter Kotaro Kiyomiya struck out eight in four innings and added an RBI single for the boys from Tokyo. The game ended in the fifth after Osaka's third homer made it a 10-run game.

A day after pounding out a 24-16 win over California in the U.S. title game, the Goodlettsville, Tenn., sluggers could only muster two hits — solo shots by Brock Myers and Lorenzo Butler.

The teams exchanged the customary postgame handshakes at the plate before Japan received the World Series championship banner and took the traditional victory lap around Lamade Stadium.

Carrying the flags of Japan and the United States with wide smiles on their faces, the players finally stopped in front of Japan's giddy cheering section as proud family members and friends stood shoulder-to-shoulder to take pictures through the infield fence.

There were many highlights, including five home runs off Tennessee pitching. Rintaro Hirano's three-run shot made it 10-1 in the fourth.

That was more than enough offense for 13-year-old ace Kiyomiya, who had a fastball clocked in the high-70s, The right-hander with the hitch in mid-delivery pitched like a big-league ace in allowing just one hit.

Regardless, this is still a banner year for Goodlettsville after its exhausting victory Saturday over Petaluma, Calif., for the U.S. championship. That game set a record for most combined runs in the World Series.

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rayhawaii wrote:
Congratulations Japan and a BIG alohaaaaaa.
on August 26,2012 | 01:48PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
On a side note, I was glad to see Tennessee defeat California because of the way they eliminated Hawaii. Coach Eric Smith called an appeal that challenged a Hawaii player's contact of a plate. Because of that appeal the game ended abruptly after an exciting comeback of their own. The coach later said during and interview that he didn't like the way the game ended but who made the call? It was him. In the LLWS World Championship Hance Smith wore a Japan shirt in plain view of everyone as he sat beside his father, the coach. All he could say was that he was mad at the way the game turned out. It goes without saying, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Although Tennessee lost the game they should be really proud of themselves. The game against California will forever be remembered as one of the most thrilling games ever on LLWS. Congratulations to Tennessee. Congratulations to a classy Japanese team, also.
on August 26,2012 | 09:21PM
bumbye wrote:
Hawaii didn't deserve to win the regionals. They didn't make the defensive plays to keep Petaluma from scoring near the end of the game -- missed, bobbled balls, etc. So what about the appeal on the missed base. Touch the base! Hawaii still would've had to get a couple more hits to win the game.
on August 27,2012 | 02:05AM
loquaciousone wrote:
After watching this awesome Japanese team, I'm not sure that Kiyomiya was even their best player even though he got all the air time. That little second baseman, Osaka, hit more home runs, drove in more runs, and had a fastball clocked only slightly slower with better control than that big man/child Kiyomiya.
on August 27,2012 | 07:38AM
kennie1933 wrote:
I like how the Japanese team also carried the American flag in their victory lap to honor the friends they made on the American teams. Classy!
on August 27,2012 | 09:35AM
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