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Tuesday, 28th August 2012
In Sports, Japan Sports News,

Tokyo team takes down Tennessee friends for Little League victory

A Japanese baseball team has overcome its US rivals to take the title of the 66th Little League Baseball World Series on Sunday (August 26th).

Tokyo's Kitasuna All-Stars beat Tennessee rivals Goodlettsville 12-2 for the country's second victory in the finals of the competition in the last three years.

More than 24,000 fans turned out to watch the game at Howard J Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Among Japan's stand out players was Noriatsu Osaka, who hit three home runs to secure his team's vicotory.

Kotaro Kiyomiya, also impressed, striking out eight over four innings in a battle that was shorted to five innings due to the ten-run mercy rule.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the Japanese side celebrated by taking a post-game victory lap around the stadium carrying their national flag and that of the US.

Still, it was a somewhat bittersweet story for the Tokyo team, who had struck up a strong friendship with their Tennessee rivals.

Thirteen-year-old Kiyomiya was quoted by the news provider as saying: "Tennessee was our best friends in the US division."

The win did not seem to come as a surprise to 12-year-old Rintaro Hirano, who took a home run in the fourth inning to take the score to 10-1.

"We thought we played the best in the tournament so far, especially to win by the ten-run rule in the finals," he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the US side remained subdued about their performance, despite this being the first time the Tennessee team has made it to the World Series final.

Manager Joey Hale argued his Little Leaguers would be better remembered for their 24-16 victory over California in the United States Championship.

The Little League site quoted him as saying: "They showed a lot of heart, character and determination, and I couldn't be more proud of them."

Posted by Mark Smith

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