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Japan Wins Third Little League World Series Title in Four Years

Japan won baseball’s Little League World Series title for the third time in four years after rallying to beat a team from Chula Vista, California, 6-4 in the championship game.

Shunpei Takagi hit two solo home runs and Ryusei Hirooka had a two-run double during a three-run fifth inning to help Musashi Fuchu Little League erase a 4-3 deficit yesterday in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

It was the second Little League World Series victory for Musashi Fuchu, which also won the championship for 11- and 12-year-olds in 2003.

“We talked about going back to basics, which is what got us here,” Japan’s manager Masumi Omae was quoted as saying on the Little League website after winning his second title. “The winning factor in this game and all our games has been trust in our pitchers to go to the mound and finish innings.”

Eastlake Little League left 11 runners on base in falling short of becoming the second team from Chula Vista to win the title in a five-year span. In 2009, Chula Vista’s Park View Little League defeated a team from Taiwan to win the international championship.

Chula Vista yesterday put two runners on base with one out in the top of the sixth inning before Japan recorded a double play to end the game.

Japan has now won nine Little League World Series titles.

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