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Little League World Series: Japan crushes Tennessee in championship final

Little League World Series: Noriatsu Osaka's three home runs propelled the Japanese squad to their second Little League World Series title in three years.

Tokyo, Japan's Noriatsu Osaka (10) rounds the bases past Goodlettsville, Tenn., second baseman Lorenzo Butler (8) after hitting a walk-off, two-run home run in the fifth inning of the Little League World Series championship baseball game in South Williamsport, Pa., Sunday, Aug. 26.

Gene J. Puskar/AP

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Fast friends in the Little League dorms, the boys from Japan and Tennessee played one last game Sunday to decide which team would be crowned World Series champions.

Noriatsu Osaka's big bat helped send the team from Tokyo home with the title banner.

Osaka's third home run of the game put an exclamation point on Japan's 12-2 victory over Tennessee in five innings in the Little League World Series championship game Sunday.

The 12-year-old Osaka added a triple for good measure in his 4-for-4 afternoon. In a symbolic gesture, Japan's players jogged the traditional postgame victory lap carrying the flags for both their home country 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.

Starter Kotaro Kiyomiya struck out eight in four innings and added an RBI single for Japan. The game ended in the fifth after Osaka's third homer made it a 10-run game.

"We thought we played the best in the tournament so far, especially to win by the 10-run rule in the finals," said 12-year-old Rintaro Hirano, who homered in the fourth to make it 10-1.


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