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Little League World Series 2019: Bracket, TV Schedule and Predictions

Jake RillAnalyst IAugust 24, 2019

River Ridge, Louisiana's Reece Roussel (22) gets a high five from manager Scott Frazier as he rounds the base on his grand slam home run off of South Riding, Virginia's Justin Lee during the fourth inning of a baseball game at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. River Ridge, Louisiana won the game 10-0. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)
Tom E. Puskar/Associated Press

The final four teams in the Little League World Series all had a day of rest on Friday. Now, they're ready to play the most important games of the tournament so far.

On Saturday, Chofu City, Japan and Willemstad, Curacao will face off for the international title, while Wailuku, Hawaii and River Ridge, Louisiana will play in the United States title game. The winners will advance to Sunday's Little League World Series championship game.

Japan and Hawaii each went 3-0 to reach its respective title games, while Curacao and Louisiana enter the matchups at 4-1.

Here's everything you need to know heading into the penultimate day of Little League World Series action at Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

       

Saturday Schedule

International Title Game: Willemstad, Curacao (Caribbean) vs. Chofu City, Japan (Japan), 12:30 p.m. ET, ABC

United States Title Game: River Ridge, Louisiana (Southwest) vs. Wailuku, Hawaii (West), 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

For the full LLWS bracket, visit the official website

       

Predictions

Japan over Curacao

Tom E. Puskar/Associated Press

So far this tournament, Japan has been the most dominant team, and it would be surprising to see that change. In its three victories, Japan outscored its opponents 32-2, which included shutout wins in each of its first two games against Italy and Mexico.

Curacao has bounced back strong since losing its second game to South Korea. It has won three straight contests, which most recently included a rematch against South Korea. But Japan will be the best team that Curacao has played so far on the international side of the bracket.

Japan should have all of its pitchers available for this game. That includes the trio of Yuto Misaki, Ritsu Nishikawa and Yuto Kakeba, who have combined to toss 14 1/3 scoreless innings in the tournament.

Curacao has some strong offensive players, including Jurdrick Profar, the younger brother of Oakland Athletics infielder Jurickson Profar. But Japan's pitching may be too strong for Curacao to plate enough runs to pull out a victory.

This could be Japan's closest game yet, as it hasn't played a contest decided by fewer than five runs. But Chofu City should win, giving Japan its seventh appearance in the Little League World Series championship game in 10 years.

       

Hawaii over Louisiana

Tom E. Puskar/Associated Press

While Japan has dominated the international side, Hawaii has done the same on the United States side. It outscored its first two opponents 11-2 before notching a 12-9 victory over Virginia to advance to the title game.

Louisiana lost to Hawaii 5-2 in its Little League World Series opener, but it has been on a roll since, winning four consecutive games and outscoring opponents 27-3 over that span.

The most interesting aspect of this matchup will be seeing how Hawaii's pitchers try to contain Louisiana slugger Reece Roussel, who is 13-for-17 with a homer, five doubles and seven RBIs in the tournament.

He's raked since arriving to Williamsport, and he'll be trying to lead Louisiana to its first appearance in the Little League World Series championship game.

However, that won't be what happens. Hawaii will win the United States title for the second straight year and have an opportunity to win its second consecutive Little League World Series championship as well. Hawaii should have all of its pitchers available, which includes the quartet of Jaren Pascual, Bransyn Hong, Logan Kuloloia and Isaac Imamura, who have combined to not allow an earned run in 15 1/3 innings.

Like the first time these two teams played, it should be a close game. But again, Hawaii will edge out Louisiana.