After scoring three runs in the first inning Saturday, the West Region champion from Chula Vista, Calif., never looked back as it defeated the New England champion from Westport, Conn., 12-1, to win a spot in today's Little League World Series Championship game against Tokyo, Japan. The finale begins at 3 p.m.
It took the Japan Region champion from Tokyo an extra inning to win its game, 3-2, over the Mexico Region team from Tijuana, Baja Calif., for the right to play for the World Series championship.
But before a champion is crowned today, a consolation game between New England and Mexico will be played at 11 a.m. at Lamade Stadium to decide third place.
Between the two games, Little League also will induct two former Little League players - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Harlan Coben, a New York Times best-selling author - into its Hall of Excellence.
Christie and Coben were teammates in the Livingston American Little League in the 1970s. The two will become the newest enshrinees into the youth organization's Hall of Excellence, which is the highest honor for a Little League graduate and already has 45 members. Those already inducted into the Hall of Excellence include former major leaguers Cal Ripken Jr. and Mike Schmidt, and former President George W. Bush.
The Hall of Excellence display recently was reopened as part of the renovated World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum.