Little League World Series things to know
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The 70th Little League World Series championship game is set.
East Seoul, South Korea (4-1) beat Panama 7-2 to win the international half of the bracket, and Endwell, New York (4-0) won the U.S. bracket with a 4-2 victory over Goodlettsville, Tennessee on Saturday.
Here are a few things to know about the game Sunday at Lamade Stadium.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Immediately after his team's win, manager Heesu Ji hinted that he and his players wouldn't put much stock into the U.S. final result. Instead, he said through a translator it didn't matter and his team would play the same way it has against international competition.
Meanwhile, New York manager Scott Rush said his team watched South Korea's game on television but the East Seoul players have made a bigger impression in person. Literally.
South Korea boasts a big, powerful lineup with six players weighing in over 150 pounds. They've used that power to hammer five of the team's nine home runs.
"They're a big team," Rush said. "I know they have a lot of pitchers that throw hard and throw some fairly nasty offspeed pitches. They hit the ball well."
Although he gave up a two-run homer that halved his team's lead late in the U.S. final, righty Jude Abbadessa will likely get the call for New York. He threw 22 pitches in the U.S. championship with one walk.
For the tournament, Abbadessa (1-0) has allowed just six runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Endwell fans have made a habit of bellowing "Jude!" whenever he takes the mound or walks to the plate and Abbadessa is no stranger to big games. His efforts in the U.S. championship aside, he notched the final out in the Mid-Atlantic Regional title game to push his squad into the World Series.
"Hearing my name sort of gives me confidence and just how loud it is just gives me even more confidence," Abbadessa said. "I like the feeling of everybody saying my name."
South Korea has two options and Ji said he would decide between Junho Jeong and Wontae Cho before the game. Jeong (1-1) has allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Cho (1-0) has pitched five innings with no runs and no hits with 10 strikeouts and only one walk.
James Fellows came through for New York with just his fifth hit of the tournament on Saturday but he leads the team with an on base percentage of .700 and is hitting a team-best .625 with 10 plate appearances.
Abbadessa leads New York with eight RBI and is hitting .571.
Seum Kwon has been South Korea's most consistent hitter. He heads into the title game batting .455 in 16 plate appearances. His three homers leads all players in the final. He leads his team with a .625 on base percentage.
STREAKS AND DROUGHTS
South Korea is making its fourth appearance in the finals and first since 2014. Teams from Seoul have never lost when reaching the finals with wins in 1984, 1985 and 2014.
Meanwhile, teams from the Empire State have made three finals appearances in 17 tournaments. Endwell became the first New York team in seven years to qualify for the World Series but would end a much longer title drought with a win. Mid Island from Staten Island did it last in 1964.
Goodlettsville will face Panama in the consolation game.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press
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