After a 29-year dry spell South Korea wins the Little League World Series, defeating Chicago 8-4 behind strong pitching from Jae Yeong Hwang and Hae Chan Choi.
Add another feather in the cap of South Korean international baseball. Though not quite as sweet as the Olympic gold in 2008, this time it was a big win for the little guys topping Chicago 8-4, led by pitchers Jae Yeong Hwang and Hae Chan Choi.
Hwang dominated the game from the outset, striking out four in two innings as well as driving in both of the team’s early runs. After the first two innings, South Korea put Hae Chan Choi on the mound. Choi would later cap the scoring with a solo home run.
Chicago rallied late, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Korea’s dominant pitching staff throughout the series.
Though his team scored early, South Korean manager Jong Wook Park says his team wasn’t comfortable with the lead.
“We weren’t confident until the top of the sixth inning,” Park said through an interpreter. “We weren’t confident when we were leading 4-1 because they are very good batting.”
For the U.S., where baseball was born, international youth baseball competition has been an uphill battle with Taiwan dominating the 67-year-old tournament with seventeen titles, followed by Japan with nine and California with seven. Taiwan hasn’t won since 1996, with Japan taking the title in 2013, 2012 and 2010.
For South Korea this marks their third Little League World Series win and the first since winning back-to-back titles in 1984 and 1985.
Winningest Teams: Little League World Series History