Saturday at the Little League World Series crowned the U.S. and International champions and set the stage for a terrific title game on Sunday. Here’s a look at some of the outstanding performances from Williamsport.
Saturday’s Games (International and U.S. Championships):
Japan 5, Mexico 0
Texas 6, North Carolina 5
10 AM — Mexico vs. North Carolina (ESPN) 3rd Place Game
3 PM — Texas vs. Japan (ABC) LLWS Championship
U.S. Player of the Day — Mark Requena, Texas
The Texas first baseman came alive for the first time in this Little League World Series in the biggest moment for his team. Down five runs to the best pitching team in the tournament, Texas faced what looked to be an insurmountable task. Requena’s 4th inning single kept the frame alive and he came around to score on Clayton Wigley’s home run, cutting the deficit to 3 and giving the Texans life. Texas added two more runs in the 5th but came to the 6th inning facing their final three outs. After Collin Ross was hit by a pitch, Mark Requena played the role of hero, hitting the go ahead 2-run homer on a drive to left field. He finished the day 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs as the Texans moved on to the championship game on Sunday against Japan.
International Player of the Day — Riku Goto, Japan
Japan’s No. 18 took to the mound with the opportunity to send his team to the championship game and Riku did not disappoint. Shutting down the explosive Mexican lineup, he hurled 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball before reaching his pitch maximum. Riku also contributed to the cause at the plate, homering and adding an RBI single. Riku struck out 13 in his dominant performance, leading the Japanese to another title game appearance.