Little League World Series 2021: Michigan vs. Ohio Championship Predictions

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2021

Taylor, Mich.'s Cameron Thorning, left, hits a two-run home run off Honolulu, Hawaii starting pitcher Micah Bennett during the first inning of a baseball game at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Catching is Hawaii's Chasen Uyetake and umpire is Brian Henry. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)
Tom E. Puskar/Associated Press

The 2021 Little League World Series wraps up Sunday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a final consisting of two teams that had to stave off elimination to reach the championship game.

Ohio has played elimination games every round since the second after it was blown out against California. Michigan's only loss occurred Wednesday at the hands of Hawai'i.

ESPN @espn

The @LittleLeague World Series Championship is set 🔥 Michigan vs. Ohio 3 PM ET on ABC tomorrow 📺 https://t.co/wtJlnmN1mG

The teams have overcome more than just crushing defeats, working through enhanced and unprecedented COVID-19 restrictions and less-than-stellar weather conditions to compete for the top prize in little league baseball.

Who will leave Williamsport victorious, and when can you watch the deciding game of the series? Find out with this preview of the championship encounter.


TV Schedule

Consolation Game: South Dakota vs. Hawai'i, 10 a.m., ABC

Championship Game: Ohio vs. Michigan, 3 p.m., ABC



Ohio entered the tournament as the preeminent underdog. They were anything but flashy, lacked the star power of other teams and probably should have been an early out for the more firepower-heavy teams. Instead, they enter Sunday's final after putting up five runs on a South Dakota team that had not allowed one in its three previous games.

The team will need every ounce of offense it can muster against a Michigan team that defeated the seemingly unbeatable Hawai'i squad on star Cameron Thorning's two-run homer. He added seven strikeouts in a little more than three innings on the pitcher's mound.

Thorning has carried his team, coming up big in the highest-pressure situations, including a grand slam earlier in the tournament that brought Michigan back from a 5-0 deficit and an inside-the-park homer that earned them a much-needed victory.

Every time Michigan has needed Thorning to make a difference, he has, proving the theory that the best players show up in the biggest moments.

There will be no bigger moment in his young baseball career than Sunday's game. 

Ohio has thrived on the idea that they are the underdog in this tournament, but now that they are in the championship game, it will be of the utmost importance that it does not let success go to its head. It will need to retain the chip on its shoulder to ensure it stands a chance against the best hitter in little league and his squad.

It will be a tough game, but there is something to be said for the team with the best players winning on the grandest stage, and this feels very much like a coronation for Thorning and company.

Prediction: Michigan wins the LLWS.