Little League World Series - Curacao Versus Louisiana

Louisiana had to come up from the loser’s bracket after being beaten by Hawaii in their opening game. They got a piece of revenge yesterday beating Hawaii to make it to the finals. Curacao got a little farther in the winner’s bracket, but lost to Korea in their second game of the Series. They got their revenge on Thursday when they knocked Korea out of the Series. Yesterday they beat Japan in what could be considered an upset. Because both teams had to rise so far up from the loser’s bracket, each team comes into the championship game 5-1.

Curacao 5 Japan 4

The big hit for Curacao was delivered by their slugger Curley Martha, who slugged a two run homerun in the fifth to give Curacao a 5-2 lead. It was the second consecutive game in which Curley has homered and his third for the tournament. That proved to be big because in the bottom of the sixth with Curley on the mound. Japan loaded the bases with two outs. A wild pitch scored one run and an error by the pitcher Curley on the throw home scored a second run, the tying run advancing to third on the play. The next hitter Ryohei Ushikubo lined a pitch into left field that was caught Kevin Rosina to end the game. A big sigh of relief was heard by all from Curacao.

Daiki Koban drove in two runs for Japan with his double in the third inning. Yuto Misaki pitched the last two innings, after the Curley homerun, quieting the Curacao bats to give Japan a chance in the bottom of the sixth. Yuto did not give up a run in his 7.1 innings of work, striking out 12 and allowing just two hits.

Shendrion Martinus got the start for Curacao and went 2.1 innings before yielding to Curley Martha. He gave up two runs. He also drove in two runs with one of his two doubles in the third inning. Jurdrick Profar scored two runs from the leadoff spot to get the offense ignited.

Southwest (River Ridge, Louisiana) 9 West (Wailuku, Hawaii) 5

What started as a pitcher’s duel turned into a slugfest. No runs were scored in the first four innings. 14 runs were scored in the last two innings.

Two errors and two wild pitches allowed River Ridge to score five runs in the fifth. Ryder Planchard drove in the first run for River Ridge with a single after Jeffrey Curtis started the inning with a double. Marshall Louque delivered the big hit of the inning with his two run double. With runners on second and third two wild pitches allowed both runners to score.

Louisiana then appeared to run away with the game in the top of the sixth, scoring four additional runs, Marshall again getting the big hit with a 2-run triple. Ironically, the four RBIs he drove in for this game were the only RBIs for the number three hitter in the tournament. He did score eight runs.

Getting the last out in any game is always tough. And for Louisiana the island boys made it even tougher. Four singles, three walks and a hit by pitch had given them five runs and loaded the bases with just one out. Nakea Kahalehau came up representing the tying run in what would have been the greatest comeback ever in a Little League World Series game, or any game for that matter. Nakea had already delivered two hits in the game. He hit a hard liner to short, but it was caught and Louisiana was able to turn a double play on a tag out at second to end the game.

William Andrade pitched 4.2 innings of shutout ball for Louisiana before turning it over to his bullpen, who almost wasted his effort by giving up five runs in the sixth. Logan Kuloloia pitched four shutout innings for Hawaii before tiring in the fifth and giving up the five spot.

Normally, a team from the loser’s bracket has to beat the team from the winner’s bracket twice to advance to the finals, but not in the Little League World Series. You now have Curacao and Louisiana facing off against each other in the finals, with no team finishing the Series undefeated.

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