Chula VIsta, Calif.'s Nick Mora (5) celebrates as he returns to the dugout after hitting a three-run home run off Westport, Conn., pitcher Chad Knight in the second inning of the United States Championship game at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Eastlake All-Stars defeated Connecticut's Westport Little League team on Saturday, 12-1, to win the U.S. Championship.
The team from Chula Vista, Calif., started the game strong, scoring 3 runs in the first inning. By the third inning, the score was 6-1, Eastlake. By the sixth inning, the final score was 12-1, with Eastlake taking the big win.
Eastlake pitcher Nick Mora led the charge to victory, powering the plate with a series of killer pitches.
Mora threw 5.2 innings before finally reaching his 85 pitch limit. Giancarlo Cortez came on to get the final out. Mora was also one of the offensive stars, blasting the only home run of the game and driving in four runs.
Eastlake scored three runs in the first inning, three runs in the second inning, and put it out of reach with six runs in the sixth inning. While the kids from Chula Vista pounded out 12 hits, there were also helped by five Connecticut errors.
Saturday’s big game – played at Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Penn. – determined who would be crowned national champions.
The two teams faced off previously on Wednesday, with Eastlake beating Westport 6-3. On Friday, Westport earned a 14-13 win over Washington in extra innings.
With this latest win under their belt, Eastlake will now face Tokyo, Japan, at noon on Sunday at Lamade Stadium.
The last four LLWS champions have been from either California or Japan. That’s going to be the case again in 2013.
Meanwhile, back in San Diego, fans gathered in Eastlake to watch the game and support the hometown team.
Yard signs have been populating the community of Eastlake in the South Bay since the team earned the West Regional championship title two weeks ago, many boasting the team’s inspirational slogan, “Find a Way.”
The Eastlake Little League All-Stars roster includes Grant Holman, Jake Espinoza, Micah Wiggs, Michael Gaines, Kevin Bateman, Rennard Williams, Dominic Haley, Charly Peterson, Giancarlo Cortez, Nick Mora, Patrick Archer and Ricky Tibbett.