Needville and El Segundo clash in Little League World Series US Championship Game


WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania — Texas will play California on Saturday for a bid to represent the United States in the Little League World Series title game on Sunday.

The Needville-El Segundo winner would also be in line to try and stop a repeat championship bid by Curacao, which one the LLWS International Championship against Chinese Taipei, 2-0, early Saturday.

ABC13 is your home for the Little League World Series U.S. championship game on Saturday. Texas vs. California is underway.

Here’s a look at both teams prior to their semifinal matchup.

How they got there

Texas is the lone undefeated team from the U.S. bracket, but its games have been tight.

It took the team from Needville, Texas, nine innings to defeat Washington 1-0 on Wednesday – its third game decided by two runs or fewer.

Texas also defeated Pennsylvania 2-1 in the opening round, beat North Dakota 6-2 and won 3-1 against its U.S. championship opponent, California, before knocking off Washington from the winner’s bracket.

Despite falling to Texas in its second game, California has won its last three games.

The team from El Segundo, California, beat Ohio 4-3 in its first game and bounced back from its loss to Texas with a 9-3 victory over Rhode Island. California then defeated Tennessee 5-3 on Wednesday and Washington 2-1 on Thursday.

SEE ALSO: Needville gets well-deserved day off to prepare for US Championship Game on Saturday

Players to watch

Texas has won games by close margins thanks in part to good pitching. On Saturday, Needville is likely to start its ace, DJ Jablonski, who is 2-0 with 15 strikeouts and just one walk in two starts this tournament. He also homered against California.

For California, 6-foot-1 Louis Lappe has stolen the spotlight.

Lappe homered for California’s only run in its loss to Texas, struck out nine in victory over Rhode Island and went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer against Tennessee.

Fun facts

Needville Little League was two games from a LLWS berth in 2021 before a player tested positive COVID-19 which, under protocols at that time, meant the team could not continue its run into the regionals.

California crowns its home-run hitters with an army helmet, but since the team hit no homers on Thursday, starting pitcher Declan McRoberts donned the helmet postgame.

Previous stories on Needville’s road to the U.S. championship game

Needville plates winning run in 9-inning thriller vs. NE Seattle

Needville Little League improves to 3-0 at World Series, advances to play Seattle

Needville Little League advances to face California after earning 2nd World Series win a row

Needville, Texas, knocks off Media, Pennsylvania, to open Little League World Series


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