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Little League World Series: Japan crushes Tennessee in championship final

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A day after pounding out a 24-16 win over California in the U.S. title game, the Goodlettsville, Tenn., sluggers could only muster two hits — solo homers by Brock Myers and Lorenzo Butler.

It was a bittersweet final for two teams that grew close during their two weeks in South Williamsport. They exchanged customary postgame handshakes at the plate before Japan received the World Series championship banner and took their warning-track run.

"Tennessee was our best friends in the U.S. division," Kiyomiya said.

Japan's jog finally stopped in front of the team's giddy cheering section as proud family members and friends stood shoulder-to-shoulder to take pictures through the infield fence.

There were so many highlights, including five home runs off Tennessee pitching.

That was more than enough offense for 13-year-old ace Kiyomiya, who had a fastball clocked in the high-70s. The right-hander with the hitch in mid-delivery pitched like a big league ace in allowing just one hit.

Regardless, this is still a banner year for Goodlettsville after its exhausting victory Saturday over Petaluma, Calif., for the U.S. championship. That game set a record for most combined runs in the World Series.

The thrilling victory kept the Tennessee players and their families up late into the night.

"(The parents) must have partied harder than the kids did," manager Joey Hale said. "I knew we'd be flat today."

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