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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Louis Labbe hit a homer as California beat Curacao 6-5 in the Little League World Series on Sunday, despite giving up a four-run lead.
Lewis flipped his bat and threw his arms in the air as he meandered around the bases, leaping onto home plate before being greeted by teammates surrounding the batter’s box. Leading batter in the bottom of the sixth inning, Lewis lifted a second pitch that saw him behind the left field fence.
Curacao tied the match in the fifth after a powerful blow from Nasser Al-Asis to the middle. Nasser also drove the car in the third round.
Jackson Kalisz and Lukas Keldorf drove at two rounds each in California.
This was the first trip to the final for the team from El Segundo, a community in the Los Angeles area. California’s eight titles is the most of any US state.
Curacao, a small island off the coast of Venezuela with a population of just 150,000, has represented the international side of the tournament bracket the last three times non-US teams have competed — in 2019, 2022 and this year — but lost each time.
There was no tournament in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 tournament was restricted to US teams due to travel restrictions.
And Curacao brought back five players and his coaching staff from the team that lost 13-3 to Hawaii in the 2022 final.
California and Curacao both lost during the tournament and had to fight their way through the elimination bracket to the final. As the number of pitches across the rosters increased, each turned to less experienced LLWS starters.
Crew O’Connor drove in an El Segundo run with a single to left field that followed Max Baker’s triple in the fourth, giving California a 5–1 advantage.
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