Calif. Team Wins Little League World Series

Monday, Aug 29, 2011  |  Updated 7:09 AM PDT
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    The game started with rain but it was all sunshine for the little leaguers from Huntington Beach.

    The Ocean View Little League All-Stars captured the World Series of Little League baseball championship in a 2-1 victory, becoming the first Orange County team ever to win.

    They beat team from Hamamatsu Minami, Japan Sunday in South Williamsport, Pa.

    Nick Pratto, atoning for an earlier error, singled in pinch-runner Eric  Anderson with the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Ocean View  Little League All-Stars from Huntington Beach brought the world championship  back to Southern California three years after a team from Chula Vista did the  same.

    Braydon Salzman singled leading off the inning, advanced to second on Dylan Palmer's single and third when Hagen Danner was safe at first on an error by Gaishi Iguchi, the Hamamatsu Minami shortstop. Salzman was forced out at the plate on a ground ball by Trevor Windisch for the inning's second out.

    Pratto followed with the game-winning single, his third hit of the game.

    Hamamatsu Minami took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Seiya Fujita led off with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Kaito Suzuki, the lightest player in the World Series, weighing 68 pounds.
    Suzuki moved to second on Shoto Totsuka's sacrifice bunt, then tried to advance to third. Pratto, the Ocean View first baseman, threw wildly for an error, allowing Suzuki to score.

    Ocean View tied the score in the bottom of the third when Danner led off with a homer.
    Salzman, a 13-year-old right-hander, was the winning pitcher, throwing a three-hitter and striking out nine.

    The start of the game was delayed 3 1/2 hours because of rain, as the remnants of Hurricane Iren swept out of the area. Today's game started in rain but ended in sunshine.

    On its road to the world championship, Ocean View won 23 of its 25 games, including 17 of its last 18. It outscored its six opponents in World Series play, 36-4.

    Ocean View is the first Orange County to win the Little League World Series. The Northwood Little League All-Stars from Irvine played for the world championship in 1987 but lost 21-1 to the all-stars from Hua-Lien, Taiwan. And the South Mission Viejo Little League All-Stars lost, 5-4, to the all-stars from Guadalupe, Mexico in the 1997 title game.

    U.S. teams are 14-32 against their foreign counterparts in the Little League World Series championship game, but have won six of the last seven
     

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