Baseball

Little League World Series 2012: Previewing Championship Action

SOUTH WILLAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 25:  Pitcher Yuta Ishida #18 of team Japan throws to a team Panama batter during the first inning of their Little League World Series game on August 25, 2012 in South Willamsport, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst IAugust 26, 2012

The Little League World Series Championship is all set and it will pit Japan versus Tennessee for international bragging rights.

Both teams have proven to be the best of the best in their respective roads to the final and this should be a game for the ages.

Here's everything you need to know for the game on Sunday.

 

Where: Howard J. Lamade Stadium, South Williamsport, Pa.

When: Sunday, August 26 at 3 p.m. EDT

Watch: ABC (Check local listings)

 

Breaking Down Each Team

Tennessee

As evidenced by its United States final against California, Tennessee can swing the bats with the best of them. After all, it did score an incredible tally of 24 runs against the second best team in the U.S. field.

Tennessee has eight hitters batting over .400 with five of them over .500 for the tournament. It also smashed 12 homers and worked 13 walks in the four games, proving it has a nice mix of power and patience at the plate.

If Japanese pitchers are looking for an easy out, they'll be hard-pressed to find it in Tennessee's lineup.

As far as pitchers are concerned, Tennessee is a little thin in that department.

Brock Myers threw five innings in the win against California, so we won't be seeing him on the mound. Instead, the fate of their championship run likely rests on the shoulders of Jake Rucker who is the only other pitcher to start a game for Tennessee.

However, Rucker is no slouch himself after going 4.1 innings without allowing an earned run on four hits in his only start of the tournament.

 

Japan

To combat the potent offense of Tennessee, Japan will bring some of the best young arms on the planet with them to the championship game.

Japan's pitching has been stellar, allowing only two earned runs in four games of play, both of which were the responsibility of just one pitcher. As for the other five pitchers for Japan, they have yet to allow an earned run.

Japan is lacking in the power department, however.

Having driven in 21 runs in four games, Japan has put up less than half the offense of its counterparts. On top of that, this is a team that strikes out often having notched 27 in total.

It currently has four hitters with a .400 average or better, three of which are hitting over .500.

Japan doesn't have nearly the same tough lineup as Tennessee, but that shouldn't matter much in this game.

 

Prediction

Great pitching almost always beats great hitting and that's exactly the advantage that Japan has over Tennessee. Japan has the ability to make Tennessee's bats irrelevant and that will greatly even the playing field, if not give the advantage to Japan.

In the end, Japan's arms will be too much and that once potent Tennessee offense won't look as dangerous.

Final Score: Japan 4, Tennessee 2

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