South Korea beats Illinois, 8-4, for Little League title

South Korea beats Illinois, 8-4, for Little League title
South Korea's Hae Chan Choi, left, celebrates with catcher Sang Hoon Han, center, and Shane Jaemin Kim following their victory over Chicago in the championship game of the Little League World Series on Sunday. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

— 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 Sunday's Little League World Series championship game.

Hwang gave up one hit in two-plus innings and struck out four. He drove in the first two runs for the Asia-Pacific Region champion, which took an 8-1 lead before Jackie Robinson West made it close.


Choi, who had a home run and scored twice, pitched the last four innings for South Korea, which won its third title after winning in 1984 and 1985.

International teams have won the last three and four of the last five titles.

Brandon Green pitched 52/3 innings for Chicago, the Great Lakes Region champion that survived four consecutive knockout games before the final.

Dong Wan Sin hit a home run and scored twice for South Korea.

After the final out, a force play, the Seoul team's bench emptied and the players dumped cups of water on their teammates near the mound. The players took a victory lap, waving and laughing.

The game was played in bright sunshine and temperatures in the high 70s in front of 28,671 at Lamade Stadium.

South Korea took control from the get-got. Dong Wan Sin, the second batter in the order, hit a line drive to center field that slipped out of the glove of DJ Butler for a two-base error. Hwang's double drove in Sin.

In the third inning, Choi walked with one out and Sin singled up the middle. After a double steal, Choi scored on Hwang's grounder to third base.

Hwang set down the first six Chicago hitters, four on strikeouts.

Butler broke up Hwang's no-hitter with an infield single leading off the third inning. That was all for Hwang, who had thrown two innings the day before. He traded places with first baseman Choi.

Illinois teams have made 15 trips to South Williamsport, with the Jackie Robinson West league appearing once before, winning two of three games in 1983.