After a grueling tournament, the Little League World Series has been decided. South Korea took home the title with an 8-4 win over the Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West Little League squad on Sunday.
Here's a look at the full recap from the final day of action at the Little League World Series.
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|South Korea||8-4||Jackie Robinson West|
*Full Little League World Series bracket can be viewed here.
Day 11 Recap
South Korea 8, Illinois 4
The magical run for Jackie Robinson West came to an abrupt end Sunday afternoon. South Korea held off a late surge by Illinois to capture the Little League World Series title with an 8-4 victory.
Down 8-1, Illinois had a sixth-inning charge that had the makings of a storybook ending. But South Korea closed the door and celebrated their third title on the Williamsport stage, as Bleacher Report showed:
Illinois faced a huge deficit as the game progressed, but kept it close early in the proceedings.
After giving up a crucial run in the first inning, Illinois stemmed the bleeding and cut the deficit in half with a run of their own. MLB took a look at the score midway through the game:
Dong Wan Sin was the offensive star for South Korea, going 2-for-3 with a home run. The homer, which put the South Koreans up, 4-1, in the top of the fifth inning, served as an emphatic moment for the program en route to an 11-0 overall record.
Despite the disappointing loss, the Illinois players still showed great sportsmanship at the end of the contest. Steve Chen of the Big West Conference provided a look at the final handshakes:
In a tournament of amazing headlines, Jackie Robinson West was an inspirational story for baseball fans. Though they were unable to capture the overall title, Illinois comes away with the U.S. championship and a run that Little League fans will not soon forget.
USA Baseball congratulated South Korea and commended Illinois following the game:
The Chicago Cubs' official account also chimed in with congratulations:
With the book closing on yet another outstanding LLWS, South Korea continues the streak for international teams. After winning in back-to-back-to-back years, international programs appear to have the upper hand over the U.S. for the time being.
Foreign teams will look to extend that streak to four next season when the tournament returns to Williamsport. For now, South Korea returns home as the winner, with Jackie Robinson West winning over America's hearts.
Japan 5, Las Vegas 0
Losing to South Korea on Saturday was undoubtedly disappointing for 2013 champion Japan, but the country proved its dominance yet again Sunday. While Las Vegas powered its way through most of the U.S. bracket, it was no match for the Japan squad.
Takuma Takahashi was the story on the mound, striking out 11 batters during a shutout win. The young hurler surrendered just three hits to the powerful Mountain Ridge lineup in the rout.
Along with his great stuff on the bump, Takahashi made an impact at the plate. Going 2-for-3, he hit a home run in the fourth inning and finished the day with an RBI and two runs.
Despite the disappointing finish, Vegas can still hold its head high as the first team to qualify for the Little League World Series from Nevada. Jon Castagnino of Fox 5 in Las Vegas noted the disparity between the two teams in the third-place contest:
After a crushing defeat to Jackie Robinson West one day earlier, fatigue might have contributed to the Vegas squad's struggles. But losing to a team from the talented Japan program is understandable after South Korea lit the Japanese up in a 12-3 loss Saturday.
While the Mountain Ridge team leaves Williamsport after two straight losses, Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal put the experience into perspective:
For those 14 kids, their parents and the manager and coaches, a lifetime of special memories stays with them forever. #MountainRidge— Steve Carp (@stevecarprj) August 24, 2014
Regardless of the outcome, both teams can be proud of their outstanding play at the LLWS, as it made for memories that will last a lifetime. Japan may not have defended its title, but it still leaves with respect yet again thanks to the third-place finish.
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