Little League World Series 2013: Players to Watch in LLWS Championship Game
California and Japan have made it through the entire Little League World Series 2013 bracket without losing a single game. On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, they will compete for the title of best little league baseball team in the world.
Both the United States and international champions proved themselves with perfect 4-0 records, but there were a few stars who certainly stood out as the teams made their march to the final.
With each team getting one last chance to shine on the big stage, these players will need to step up for their respective teams one last time to capture the championship.
Grant Holman, P/SS
Holman has easily become the biggest star at the tournament. He made a name for himself by pitching an extra-innings no-hitter in the team's opening round and proceeded to hit a grand slam and three-run home run in the next two games.
His hot steak finally came to an end (by his standards) in the semifinal rematch against Connecticut, as he registered just one single and a run. California still won the game 12-1.
He'll play a much bigger role in his team's game against Japan, though. After staying away from the mound on Saturday, he'll take the hill as the team's starter one last time.
Nick Mora, P/IF
Mora led his team to victory in the tournament's semifinal as a pitcher, but he's even more dangerous at the dish. He's hitting .429 and slugging 1.071 for California through four games and represents the team's biggest power threat with three home runs in the last two games.
With Mora and Holman hitting No. 3 and No. 4 in the lineup, California has a strong one-two punch that will cause problems for Japan's pitchers.
Kazuki Ishida, P
Battling Holman for MVP honors in the tournament will be Kazuki Ishida. Due to Japan's management of his pitch count, he's made appearances on the mound in all four of his team's games. He's allowed just one earned run in nine innings with nine strikeouts.
He's been just as big a star for the team at the plate, hitting .417 with two home runs and three RBI. Ishida's power at the plate and pitching prowess will be needed against a very talented California squad.
Sho Miyao, SS
Few players in the tournament have been able to keep up with Sho Miyao's performance at the plate. The young shortstop is hitting an incredible .778 with an on-base percentage of .833.
Miyao's ability to get on base nearly every time he comes up in the No. 2 spot has been instrumental to Japan's success thus far. If he can get to Holman early on, it will help get the Japanese offense rolling.
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