Japan's representative won the Little League World Series championship in 2017. Hawaii's team won it last year. Both nations will be in the third-place consolation game this year.
On Saturday, Willemstad, Curacao (Caribbean), defeated Chofu City, Japan (Japan), to win the international championship, while River Ridge, Louisiana (Southwest), beat Wailuku, Hawaii (West), in the United States title game.
Curacao and Louisiana are set to face off in the Little League World Series championship game on Sunday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Curacao has only had one representative win the LLWS championship, in 2004, while Louisiana has never won it.
Championship Game Information
Date: Sunday, Aug. 25
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Not only has Louisiana never had a team win the Little League World Series championship, but it's never had one play in the title game So this year's team from River Ridge has already made history by reaching this point.
After losing its first game of the tournament, Louisiana has won five straight games, most recently defeating Hawaii in a rematch of its Little League World Series opener. After losing 5-2 to Hawaii on August 16, Louisiana got revenge with a 9-5 win in the United States title game.
Louisiana's incredible run has been highlighted by a historic performance from one of its top players. Reece Roussel has been nearly impossible to get out this tournament, as he's 15-for-20 with five doubles, a home run, nine RBIs and seven runs scored.
Roussel's 15 hits are a Little League World Series record, and he described his achievement as "awesome," according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com).
He will try to add to that mark against Curacao, which has won four straight games since losing its second contest of the tournament.
Like Louisiana, Curacao also got revenge when it defeated South Korea to advance to the international title game. It then defeated Japan, which had outscored its first three opponents 32-2.
However, Japan's dominance came to an end when Curacao notched a 5-4 victory Saturday. Curley Martha powered Curacao's win with a two-run homer that gave his team a three-run lead in the fifth inning.
Martha has also been one of Curacao's top pitchers, posting a 1.39 ERA over 8 ⅔ innings. However, he will be unavailable to pitch Sunday because of exceeding the pitch limit.
Consequently, expect the Roussel-led Louisiana to have a strong offensive showing. It's already been an incredible tournament for Louisiana, and it's about to finish on a high note.
River Ridge will win Louisiana's first Little League World Series championship in its history by triumphing in a close game over Curacao that will feature some offensive highlights from both sides but with Louisiana getting the edge late.