Lamorinda ekes out U-12 Championship
Monarchs outduel Tomateros in all-California finale
Youth baseball in the state of California finished on top Sunday, but only one team from the Golden State walked off the field in Memphis, Tenn., as the victor.
And one player did it all.
Nicholas Hoerner shined in the finale, leading his Lamorinda Monarchs past Paramount's Tomateros de California, 2-1, in the U-12 Championship game at Mark Neel Field.
On the mound, Hoerner struck out six while giving up only four hits and one run in six innings for the win. At the plate, he went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Isaiah Berry also went 1-for-3 with a run scored a run for Lamorinda while Austin Garcia added a hit for the Monarchs.
Across the diamond, it was Isaak Gutierrez who starred for the Tomateros, giving up both runs on three hits in six innings. He struck out eight, walked three and also notched a base hit. Zachary Roberts had two hits in three at-bats and third baseman William Aguilar had a hit in the losing effort for Paramount, who finished the season with a record of 89-1.
The Tomateros had won all 10 previous meetings between the two teams in the past two years, including Saturday's 12-2 victory in the final day of pool play.
Japan ends Hawaii's run to win LLWS
The United States' five-year reign as Little League World Series champions is over. Japan's sovereignty has just begun.
On Sunday, the team from Tokyo edged the champions from Waipahu, Hawaii, 4-1, in the title game to take home the crown. Japan, who last won the title in 2003, is the first international team to win the Little League World Series since Curacao won in '04.
Tokyo will have a year to cherish their victory. Hawaii, who managed only four hits in the finale, also has plenty to be proud of this year. The young sluggers became the first Little League team to play seven games in the tournament and rallied to cut Japan's lead to 2-1 in the fourth inning.
However, the United States did not get any closer. Japan's overall play, combined with a home run and three RBIs from Konan Tomori, were too much to overcome. Hawaii starter Cody Maltezo shined, allowing four hits and racking up four strikeouts.
Japan's Ryusuke Ikeda struck out five in three innings for the win. Reliever Ichiro Ogasawara did not allow a hit in his three innings of work.
A team from Hawaii also won the title in 2008.
Chinese Taipei broke out for nine runs in the first inning en route to defeating Pearland, Texas, 14-2, in the consolation game Sunday morning.
After the early start, Wei-Chih Chen took over and allowed just four hits in the contest, which was called after four innings due to the 10-run rule.
Beau Orlando knocked a two-run homer, his third of the tournament for Pearland.
Bailey Stephens is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.