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Japan, California Vie for Little League World Series Title

Little League teams from Japan and California will play for the World Series Championship title today if Hurricane Irene doesn’t disrupt the game in north-central Pennsylvania.

Hamamatsu Minami Little League of Hamamatsu City, Japan, defeated Seguro Social Little League of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, 5-2 yesterday to win the international championship at Lamade Stadium in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

In the United States Championship game, the West, represented by Ocean View Little League of Huntington Beach, California, beat the Billings (Montana) Big Sky League from the Northwest, 11-2.

Today’s championship final was moved to 3 p.m. from noon to avoid interruption by Hurricane Irene, which began battering the East Coast yesterday, the tournament announced on its website. The consolation game between Mexico and Montana, scheduled at 11 a.m., was canceled.

“In order to have the best chance to complete the game on Sunday, this is the best course,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball. “This will allow us to take advantage of potentially better weather earlier in the day.”

The championship game’s field in north-central Pennsylvania was not expected to get violent weather, however, heavy rain may interfere with the start of the game, said Patrick Wilson, Little League vice president of Operations and International Tournament director.

“As always, the conditions leading up to and at game-time will be evaluated,” Wilson said. “If conditions are suitable for World Series play, we will play the game. If not, we will postpone the start until the conditions are suitable.”

If the game cannot be played today, it likely will be postponed until tomorrow, Wilson said.

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