SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania (AP) – Sunday’s Little League World Series championship will feature a rematch of the Great Lakes, Ohio regional title game against Michigan.
Michigan won 9-1 for the first time, but Ohio can forget all about it when it comes back in the biggest game of them all. It’s the first time two teams from the same region have competed for the LLWS title, a product of COVID-19 travel restrictions that kept international clubs away.
Cooper Oden of Hamilton, Ohio, delivers during the first innings of a baseball game against Sioux Falls, SD at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, August 28, 2021. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar)
Here’s a look at the matchup.
OHIO vs. MICHIGAN, 3 p.m. EDT
– West Side Little League, Hamilton, Ohio, Great Lakes Region
How They Got Here: Ohio became their state’s first squad to rise to the championship on Saturday when they beat South Dakota 5-2. Ohio starter Cooper Oden limited the offensive in South Dakota, spreading two runs over his more than five innings. Ohio survived a late South Dakota rally at the end of the sixth inning when third baseman Maddox Jones caught a sharp grounder with bases loaded and kicked the bag for the final.
Maddox Jones (13) of Hamilton, Ohio, celebrates as he stands on first base after beating a Sioux Falls single, SD’s Brekken Biteler (5) during the fifth inning of a baseball game at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport , rode a run, PA, Saturday, August 28, 2021. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar)
Players to Watch Out for: Maddox accelerated the Ohio offense on Saturday with two hits and one run. Right fielder Chance Retherford continued his strong performance with a pair of singles and a run. Chance beats .400 in the tournament to date.
– Taylor North Little League, Taylor, Michigan, Great Lakes Region
Cameron Thorning’s offensive and defensive performance spurred Michigan in their 2-1 win over Hawaii. Cameron tumbled in the fourth inning, hitting seven, allowing an undeserved run. He was helping his own cause with a two-time homer in the first inning, which was all Florida needed. Jacob Furkas slammed the door in Hawaii with 2 2/3 innings of shutout.
Players eye: Shortstop Lucas Farner hit the base twice against Hawaii, recording a single and a walk. Lucas went 3 for 3 in Michigan’s rematch against Texas early in the tournament, hitting over .400. Cameron’s homerun on Saturday was his third of the tournament and he leads the team with nine runs.