SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Jae Yeong Hwang drove in two runs and Hae Chan Choi weathered a late Chicago rally to lead South Korea to an 8-4 victory in the Little League World Series championship game Sunday.
The Asia-Pacific Region champions built an 8-1 lead before the Jackie Robinson West team made it relatively close before a crowd of 28,671 at Lamade Stadium.
Choi, who had a homer and scored twice, pitched the last four innings for South Korea, which won its third title after back-to-back championships in 1984 and ’85.
International teams have won four of the last five titles.
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Brandon Green went 52/3 innings for Great Lakes Region champion Chicago, which had survived four straight knockout games before the final.
The Jackie Robinson West All-Stars, made up of all black players, made their first appearance in 31 years in the LLWS.
Far from falling quiet at the finish, several hundred supporters who gathered for a TV watch party in a Chicago community-center gym jumped to their feet, roared and clapped — as if the team had won.
“They showed what heart they have. The city could not be prouder of them,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who attended the party, said.
After the final out, a force play, the Seoul team’s bench emptied and the players dumped cups of water on teammates near the mound.