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California vs Curacao: Louis Lappe homers to win 2023 Little League World Series championship game

BySETH ENGLE Associated Press

Sunday August 27, 2023 10:26 p.m.

ABC7 Chicago Broadcasting 24/7

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Louis Lappe homered and California beat Curacao 6-5 in the World Little League Championship on Sunday, despite relinquishing a four-point lead.

Louis flipped his bat and threw his arms in the air as he trotted around the bases, jumping onto home plate before being greeted by teammates surrounding the batting box. Leading off in the bottom of the sixth inning, Louis threw the second pitch which he saw just beyond the left field fence.

Curaçao leveled the game in the fifth thanks to Nasir El-Ossais’ grand slam in the middle. Nasir also drove in a run in the third.

Jaxon Kalish and Lucas Keldorf had two points apiece for California.

It was the first appearance in the finals for the team from El Segundo, a community in the Los Angeles area. The eight titles won by California are the most of any US state.

Curaçao, a small island off the coast of Venezuela that is home to just 150,000 people, has represented the championship’s international team the last three times non-US teams have competed – in 2019, 2022 and this year – but lost each time.

There was no tournament in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 tournament was limited to US teams due to travel restrictions.

Curacao sacked five players and its coaching staff from the team that lost 13-3 to Hawaii in the 2022 final.

California and Curacao suffered a loss during the tournament and had to work their way through the playoffs to the final. As the number of pitches in the rosters increased, everyone turned to less experienced LLWS starters.

Crew O’Connor made a run for El Segundo with a single to left field that followed Max Baker’s triple in fourth, giving California a 5-1 advantage.


Seth Engle is a student at the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State.

Copyright © 2023 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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