2021 Little League World Series championship game: Taylor North (Michigan) Little League (4-1) vs. Hamilton (Ohio) West Side Little League (5-1)
Where: Howard J. Lamade Stadium, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
When: 3 p.m. Sunday.
• BOX SCORE
Game notes: Taylor North avenged its lone loss in Williamsport — a 2-0 one-hitter on Wednesday — by taking down Hawaii, 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Cameron Thorning — who starred Thursday in Taylor’s 15-6 win over Texas with a double and home run in the same inning — was at it again against Hawaii, getting some revenge of his own. Thorning had a home run to right stolen by a Hawaii outfielder on Wednesday; his blast to right in Saturday’s first inning was uncatchable and gave Michigan’s starting pitcher all the runs he needed.
SATURDAY’S HANK AARON FINAL:Taylor North beats Hawaii, 2-1
That starter was Thorning himself; the tall 12-year-old limited Hawaii to two hits and one walk over 3⅓ innings while striking out seven. He departed with a runner on first in the fourth inning, but teammate Jakob Furkas got the final eight outs — without allowing a hit — to lock up the win.
The opponent: The Ohio squad — from Hamilton, just north of Cincinnati — lost to Michigan, 9-1, in the final of the Great Lakes regional in Whitestown, Indiana, on Aug. 14, with a berth in the LLWS already locked up. (With no international teams in this year’s tournament, the LLWS features the top two teams from each region.) Ohio then won its opener over Tennessee, 1-0, but fell into the elimination bracket with a 9-0 loss to California on Aug. 22. Since then, though, Ohio beat Louisiana, New Hampshire, California and South Dakota by a combined 21-9 score, including Saturday’s Tom Seaver bracket final, in which the Ohioans held off a rally by South Dakota in the sixth inning. South Dakota, trailing 5-2, loaded the bases before striking out, flying out and grounding out to end the threat. Ohio pitcher Cooper Oden struck out six over five innings, but threw 85 pitches, making him ineligible to pitch Sunday.
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At stake: The championship. This is just the second appearance by a Michigan team in the championship game. The legendary 1959 Hamtramck squad dominated an eight-team field, winning its three games by a combined 24-1 score, including a 12-0 win over California in the title game. Taylor’s 8-0 win over Florida last week was the first shutout in LLWS play by a Michigan team since then. No Ohio team has ever even played in a final. The full 2021 bracket is here.
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