WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport Little League’s magical summer came up one game short of winning the championship of the United States.
Chula Vista, Calif., struck for three runs in each of the first two innings Saturday and went on to beat Westport, 12-1, in the U.S. title game in Williamsport, Pa. Westport will play Mexico in a consolation game Sunday. Chula Vista will play Japan in the world championship game.
Chula Vista beat Westport for the second time in the tournament. The West Region champions are the only team to defeat Westport (21-2) this summer.
Facing Westport ace Chad Knight, California took control early with three runs in the first. Westport made two errors in the inning (and five for the game) to assist the rally. In the second, Nick Mora crushed a long three-run home run to right-center field to make it 6-0.
Unlike Friday’s dramatic win over Washington, Westport did not have a rally this time. Mora held Westport to one run and just two hits. Giancarlo Cortez got the final out for California.
Knight threw five innings and held California scoreless for three innings, but the winners tacked on six runs in the sixth off of three relievers.
The loss ended a brilliant run by Westport in its first Little League World Series appearance. After winning state and New England championships for the first time, Westport won its first two World Series games before losing to California. The win over Washington set up Saturday’s rematch, which drew 27,612 fans.
After Sunday’s game, Westport will return to Connecticut and will be saluted at a parade Monday beginning at 5 p.m. There will be a parade along Main Street and a ceremony on Jesup Green.