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Baseball: Japan wins Little League World Series title

Published August 25, 2013 7:17 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

South Williamsport, Pa. • The victory lap around Lamade Stadium never gets old for Japan, nor does the players' ritual of scooping up some souvenir dirt near the mound after another Little League World Series triumph.

A perennial power in youth baseball, Japan rallied past Chula Vista, Calif., 6-4 on Sunday to win its ninth title and third in four years, the only disappointment in that recent span a loss in 2011.

Ryusei Hirooka won this one with a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Shunpei Takagi hit two solo home runs to help keep the Tokyo team undefeated in the tournament.

"In all honesty, I'm really happy," said Japan manager Masumi Omae, who also led the 2003 Japan team to the World Series title. "I definitely always dreamt about coming back to win again."