The Eastlake Little League team from Chula Vista, Calif., beat Westport, Conn., 12-1 to win the U.S. Little League championship Saturday in the annual tourney in South Williamsport, Pa.
But the team from Tijuana lost 3-2 to Japan for the international championship, ending the chances for a Chula Vista-Tijuana game Sunday for the world championship.
Instead, Eastlake will play Japan, with the game to be telecast on ABC. It will be the ninth time that a team from Japan has played for the world title; a team from a different Chula Vista league won the world title in 2009 by beating Taipei China.
Though teams from Mexico and the U.S. have twice played against each other for the top crown, never have two teams played that are so geographically close. Chula Vista and Tijuana are 20 miles apart, separated by the international border.
For Eastlake, the star was pitcher Nick Mora, who struck out nine batters and hit a three-run home run. Sunday's pitcher for Eastlake will be the staff ace, 6-foot-4 Grant Holman.
"These 12 boys have given us a million reasons to celebrate," Kathleen Romero told KGTV Channel 10 amid cheering at Eastlake Tavern & Bowl in Chula Vista, where hundreds of fans watched the game.ALSO: