On August 27, all eyes were on the Little League World Series finals taking place in the town of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. After twelve grueling days, it was finally time for the victor to take the stage.
The tournament, which consisted of ten teams from the USA and ten teams from the international sphere, showed off the best 10-12 year old players on earth.
The Dutch-speaking island of Curacao beat Taipei by a score of 2-0 on August 26 to advance to face off against California in the final. Statistically, the Curacaoan pitching corps had been unbelievable. Allowing just two runs in their first two games, the Curacaoans entered the August 27 Little League World Series final wihtout having allowed a home run.
In the final, the two sides traded blows. Eventually, Curacao and El Segundo Little League found themselves in a 5-5 draw in the bottom of the ninth. As shortstop Louis Lappe stepped up to the plate, ESPN announcer Karl Ravech pulled off the jinx of the century.
“CALIFORNIA WALK OFF HOME RUN TO WIN THE #LLWS” – uSTADIUM MLB
Just as Ravech reminded fans that Curacao had not allowed a single home run in the 2023 Little League World Series, Lappe ripped a 1-0 pitch high and deep to left field. His jubilant teammates came out to greet him as he rounded the bases, winning the tournament for his team.
The soul-crushing defeat occured in Curacao’s fifth appearance in the finals of the tournament. 2023 was the third straight time they lost in the finals. The last victory for the small island came in 2004, when future Texas Rangers star Jurickson Profar, as well as Baltimore Orioles infielder Jonathan Schoop represented their nation.
“Congrats to 2023 El Segundo Little League World Series Champions. Head Coach Danny Boehle & his staff did a wonderful job” – Playa Vista Orioles
2023 Little League World Series was quite the spectacle
Anytime a tournament culminates in walk-off fashion, emotions run high. The tournament included many highlights, including the first time that team Cuba has ever shown themselves in the tournament. Undoubtedly, the youngsters involved will not be forgetting their time in Williamsport anytime soon.
With the victory, El Segundo Little Leaguers will always be able to remember this special moment in their young lives. Perhaps in the future, we can look forward to a time when Curacao fulfills the latent talent on their team, and brings the long-overdue victory home.
Edited by Adrian Dorney