The summer of 2017 produced seven World Series Champions, with International teams capturing the program’s four Little League Baseball® titles, while teams from the United States winning all three Little League Softball® championship banners.
Below is a review of these tournaments. For more information and details, visit LLBWS.org.
Little League Baseball®
Tokyo-Kitasuna Little League, champions of the Japan Region, defeated Lufkin Little League, United States Champions representing the Southwest Region, 12-2, in five innings to become the 2017 Little League Baseball® World Series Champions. After trailing, 2-0, Japan’s National Champions rallied with 12 unanswered runs and dominated the rest of the game. Japan finished the tournament 5-0 and looked like the favorites to win from the start of their very first game. The team defeated Australia, Asia-Pacific, Canada, Mexico and the Southwest en route to the league’s record fourth world championship.
Japan dominated in all phases of the game, outscoring its opponents 39-2 throughout the tournament. They even managed to go the entire tournament without committing an error. Japan’s team captain Keitaro Miyahara led his team in hits, doubles, home runs, runs scored, batting average and slugging percentage. This year’s LLBWS championship is the third time won by Tokyo-Kitasuna Little League in the past six years. They previously won in 2001, 2012, and 2015.
Intermediate 50/70 Baseball
The Radames Lopez Little League from Guayama, Puerto Rico won the 2017 Intermediate 50/70 Baseball World Series, 6-5, over the East Region Champion from Freehold Township (N.J.) Little League. Puerto Rico finished the tournament 5-0 and beat New Jersey on a dramatic single from Rolando Cruz that brought in Jan Torres. Rolando Cruz proved to be one of the team’s best hitters, leading the team in singles, hits, and runs scored.
Puerto Rico defeated Latin America twice, Asia-Pacific, and Canada to reach the championship game. Puerto Rico’s Jorge Rodriguez proved to be one of the team’s most consistent and valuable players throughout the tournament. He registered a hit in every game and led the team in runs batted in, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. In the championship game, he had a hit and two RBIs.
Radames Lopez Little League returned to this year’s Intermediate 50/70 Baseball World Series after going 1-2 in the 2016 tournament.
Junior League Baseball
The Shing-Ming Junior Little League from Chinese Taipei defended its title and emerged as the 2017 champions of the Junior League Baseball World Series. The Asia-Pacific Champions beat the Kennett Square KAU Little League team from Pennsylvania, 12-1, in five innings. Chinese Taipei scored seven runs in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach. Chinese Taipei proved to be too much for the competition throughout the tournament, outscoring its opponents by a combined total of 51-5 in five games.
Hao Yu Lee was Chinese Taipei’s best hitter in the championship game, driving in four run with a walk. Chinese Taipei pitcher Chih Chieh Chen went all five innings and only gave up four hits, and one earned run. Chen had a solid overall tournament, pitching seven innings and only giving up the one earned run. The overall offensive star of the tournament was Hao Yu Lee, who hit a home run in four of the five games and had five home runs total in the tournament. Lee also led the team with 17 RBI’s and nine runs scored.
Senior League Baseball
Aguadulce Cabezera Little League from Latin America won the 2017 Senior League Baseball World Series Championship, 5-4, over the Southeast Region winner from Florida’s North Springs Little League. Latin America led 5-1 through four innings, but Southeast Region winners scored three runs in the next three innings to make the game close. Latin America’s Carlos Ledezma had a hit and two RBIs in the contest.
Latin America got off to a great start to the tournament with a 10-0 win over Asia-Pacific. However, they lost their second game to the Caribbean, 2-0. The eventual world champions rebounded from the loss and won three straight to win the title. Latin America was led by a deep pitching staff that used eight different pitchers throughout the tournament. Their star pitcher was Edgardo Rosales, who pitched 13.1 innings and had a 5.25 ERA with eight strikeouts. Azarel Salado pitched seven innings in the tournament, and Jean Cornejo pitched six.
Little League Softball®
The Lake Air Little League team representing the Southwest Region became the 2017 Little League Softball® World Series Champions after beating the Southeast Region, 7-2. Both teams came into the game 6-0 and easily defeated the majority of their opponents in the run up to the championship. Southwest took control early in the game by scoring seven runs in the first two innings. That would be all they needed, as they held Rowan Little League of Salisbury, N.C., to two runs on five hits. Southwest pitcher Daniella Ramirez pitched a complete game and only allowed one earned run, while Makayla Ramos finished the game with two hits and two RBIs.
Asharah Thibodeaux, who had hits in the championship game, was the Southwest Region’s most productive hitter. She had 11 hits and led the team in batting average, On-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Serena Guardiola led the team with 11 RBIs. Danielle Ramirez pitched in all seven games and finished with a 7-0 record. In 39.1 innings, she only gave up seven earned runs and finished with a 1.08 ERA. Texas finished the tournament 7-0 and scored 55 runs while only giving up 13.
Junior League Softball
The Poland Community Little League team representing the Central Region won the 2017 Junior League Softball World Series. The team from Poland, Ohio beat the hosts, Kirkland American/National Little League, 7-1. The Central took control of the game early with three runs in the first two innings and never gave up the lead. Jackie Grisdale had two hits and three RBIs, while Kaili Gross pitched a complete game with 10 strikeouts and five hits.
Gross was the team’s most effective pitcher throughout the tournament, pitching in 35 innings and going 5-1 in her starts. She finished the tournament with a 1.40 ERA, a .857 WHIP and only seven earned runs allowed. Cammie Lattanzio proved to be a consistent offensive force throughout the tournament. She had four multi-hit games, got a hit in six of the seven games, and led the team in hits, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. The Centrals only loss in the tournament was to the Southeast in the second game of the tournament.
Senior League Softball
Lower Sussex, Del.
Delaware District 3 are the Senior League Softball World Series Champions after their 4-0 win over Asia-Pacific. The eventual World Series Champions finished the tournament with a record of 6-1. The Championship Game was a rematch with Asia-Pacific representative Bacolod City Little League from the Philippines. Pitcher Taylor Wroten of Delaware District 3 was the game’s outstanding player. She pitched all seven innings and only gave up two hits on 91 pitches.
Wroten started all of her team’s games and finished the tournament with a .739 ERA, a .718 WHIP, and 47 strikeouts in 47.1 innings. Of her 47.1 innings, 22 were 1-2-3 innings. Corrin Farris was Delaware’s best hitter throughout the World Series. She led the team in hits and RBIs and was second on the team in batting average and slugging percentage.