SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Noriatsu Osaka hit three homers and tripled, driving in four runs, and Japan allowed only two hits in a 12-2 win over Tennessee yesterday in the Little League World Series title game.
Japan hit five homers, including Rintaro Hirano's three-run shot. Six-foot, 206-pound Kotaro Kiyomiya struck out eight in four innings and added an RBI single. The game ended in the fifth after Osaka's third homer made it a 10-run game. It was the second title in three years and eighth overall for Japan.
Japan's players jogged the traditional postgame victory lap carrying the flags for Japan and the United States. "We had such a great time in Pennsylvania and we really played a good game today. It was kind of a 'thanks,' " Osaka said through an interpreter. Kiyomiya added, "Tennessee was our best friends in the U.S. division."
After beating California, 24-16, for the U.S. title, Tennessee managed only solo homers by Brock Myers and Lorenzo Butler. Myers homered for the fifth straight game. Butler had hit three three-run homers Saturday.-- AP