Teams from Chicago and South Korea squared off for the Little League World Series title. Chicago rallied in the final inning, but it wasn’t quite enough.
For the third time in Little League World Series history, South Korea emerged as champions, topping Chicago 8-4.
After winning the U.S. bracket, Jackie Robinson West from Chicago — representing the Great Lakes region — put starter Brandon Green on the hill to face the international champ South Korea and Jae Yeong Hwang.
Early on, Hwang was dominant, striking out four in two innings and driving in both of his team’s early runs. After the first two innings, South Korea went to Hae Chan Choi — who benefited from another two runs pushed across against Green in the fourth and fifth innings. South Korea extended its lead in the sixth inning. Choi capped the scoring with a solo home run. Chicago rallied the best it could, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Chicago still claims the United States championship despite coming up short on Sunday. Led by pitcher Joshua Houston — 2.25 ERA, 19 strikeouts and four walks in 16 innings — and sluggers Darion Radcliff and Pierce Jones, the U.S. champs couldn’t solve the tough pitching from the South Korean club. The final inning rally was too little, too late.
South Korea’s 1-2-3 hitters went 4-for-10 with four runs scored and drove in four, including a fifth-inning homer by right fielder Dong Wan Sin and the solo home run from Choi.
It was South Korea’s third Little League World Series win and first since winning back-to-back titles in 1984 and 1985.