SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Arms outstretched in the air with a smile from ear-to-ear, Noriatsu Osaka couldn't contain his glee.
Neither could his teammates from Tokyo after Osaka's third home run of the game put an exclamation point on Japan's 12-2 victory over Tennessee in five innings in the Little League World Series title game Sunday.
The 12-year-old Osaka added a triple for good measure, too, to top off his 4-for-4 afternoon. In a symbolic gesture, Japan's players jogged the traditional postgame victory lap carrying the flags for both their home country and the United States.
Starter Kotaro Kiyomiya struck out eight in four innings and added an RBI single for Japan. The game ended in the fifth after Osaka's third homer made it a 10-run game.
California beats Panama 12-4 in LLWS consolation
Bradley Smith had two doubles and three RBIs, and Logan Douglas struck out six in five innings of relief to lift Petaluma past Aguadulce, Panama, 12-4 Sunday in the Little League World Series third-place game.
Douglas added two hits for a California team that rebounded nicely after losing a 24-16 thriller to Tennessee in the U.S. championship game.
A day after scoring 10 runs in the sixth to rally from a 15-5 deficit, California broke out the bats early against Panama, leading 8-2 after two innings. Smith had RBI doubles in each inning.
"We were mad about the loss, but we had to win today," the 12-year-old Douglas said. "We had to keep winning after that."
Edwin Nieto went 2 for 4 with two runs to pace Panama, while Edisson Gonazlez went 2 for 3 with a solo homer.
The Petaluma team are stars back in the San Francisco area, winning big league fans such as Giants ace Matt Cain and A's outfielder Jonny Gomes. Douglas said he wasn't sure what to expect when he returned to Petaluma because he heard fans were "freaking out back home."