Ohio and Michigan to play Sunday for Little League title

Sports

Taylor, Mich.’s Jakob Furkas (18) and Cameron Thorning, center, celebrate with teammates after a win over Honolulu, Hawaii, in a baseball game at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — The championship of the Little League World Series on Sunday will feature a rematch of the Great Lakes regional title game, Ohio against Michigan.

Michigan won the first time, 9-1, but Ohio can forget all about that if it comes back in the biggest game of all. It will be the first time two teams from the same region have played for the LLWS title, a product of COVID-19 travel restrictions that kept international clubs away.

Here’s a look at the matchup.

OHIO vs. MICHIGAN, 3 p.m. EDT

— West Side Little League, Hamilton, Ohio, Great Lakes Region

How they got here: Ohio became the first squad from its state to advance to the championship on Saturday when it defeated South Dakota 5-2. Ohio starter Cooper Oden limited the South Dakota offense, scattering two runs across his five-plus innings of work. Ohio survived a late rally by South Dakota in the bottom of the sixth inning, when third baseman Maddox Jones snared a sharp grounder with the bases loaded and stepped on the bag for the final out.

Players to watch: Maddox paced the Ohio offense on Saturday with two hits and a run batted in. Right fielder Chance Retherford continued his strong performance with a pair of singles and a run scored. Chance is batting .400 in the tournament to date.

— Taylor North Little League, Taylor, Michigan, Great Lakes Region

Cameron Thorning’s performance on offense and defense fueled Michigan in its 2-1 win over Hawaii. Cameron pitched into the fourth inning while striking out seven and allowing one unearned run. He helped his own cause with a two-run homer in the first inning, which was all the offense that Florida needed. Jacob Furkas slammed the door on Hawaii with 2 2/3 shutout innings.

Players to watch: Shortstop Lucas Farner reached base twice against Hawaii, recording a single and a walk. Lucas went 3 for 3 in Michigan’s rematch against Texas earlier in the tournament and is hitting over .400. Cameron’s home run Saturday was his third of the tournament, and he leads the team with nine runs batted in.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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