El Segundo to play for Little League World Series US championship
The all-star team from El Segundo can capture the U.S. championship in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Saturday when it plays a rematch against its counterpart from Needville, Texas — which beat El Segundo Monday.
D.J. Jablonski is expected to pitch for Needville. He limited El Segundo to four hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings in a 3-1 victory Monday, with the only run coming on Louis Lappe’s first-inning home run.
Jablonski hit a solo homer in the fourth.
El Segundo had the tying run on first base with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and final inning after Colby Lee and Brody Brooks were hit by pitches by reliever Easton Ondruch, but Lappe grounded out to end the game.
Needville, the Southwest Region champion, combined four singles, three with two outs, for two runs in the top of the first.
Needville has played only once since then, defeating the all-star team from the Northeast Seattle Little League 1-0 Wednesday to advance to the U.S. championship game.
El Segundo has played three times since its loss to Needville, winning three elimination bracket games in three days, including a 2-1 victory Thursday over Northeast Seattle, the Northwest Region champion.
The 12:30 p.m. PDT game at Howard J. Lamade Stadium will be televised by ABC. A watch party will be held at Rock & Brews El Segundo.
El Segundo is 18-2 in five tournaments this summer. The West Region champions other loss was to the all-star team from the Sherman Oaks Little League, 4-3, in the opening game of the championship series of the Southern California State Tournament July 31. It won the rematch, 3-2, later that day.
Needville has won 14 consecutive games and is 20-1 in five tournaments.
Needville lost to the all-star team from the Hallettsville Little League in its second game in the Texas East Section 4 tournament 4-3, then defeated the all-star team from the Sweeny Little League, 6-2, and Hallettsville, 19-0, in a game called after three innings because of the run rule, which requires the manager of a team a trailing by at least 15 runs through three innings to concede the victory to the opponent.
The Southwest Region champion then defeated Hallettsville, 1-0, to win the tournament.
Needville is city of 3,089 people, according to the 2020 census, about 40 miles southwest of downtown Houston.
This will be the first time since 1994 a Los Angeles County team has played in the U.S. championship game. The all-star team from the Northridge Little League won the 1994 U.S. championship with a team including future USC and NFL quarterback Matt Cassel.
The U.S. champion will face the winner of Saturday’s international championship between teams from Taoyuan, Taiwan and Willemstad, Curacao, for the world championship Sunday. The losers of the U.S. and international championship games will play in the third-place game Sunday.
Los Angeles County teams have won the Little League World Series three times. The all-star team from the Granada Hills National Little League won in 1963 and teams from the Long Beach Little League won in 1992 and 1993.