SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Little Leaguers everywhere dream of a moment like this.

Louis Lappe hit a walk-off homer and California beat Curacao 6-5 in the Little League Baseball World Series championship Sunday, despite giving up a four-run lead.

Louis flipped his bat and threw his arms in the air as he trotted around the bases, leaping onto home plate as he was greeted by his teammates surrounding the batter's box. The leadoff hitter in the bottom of the sixth inning, Louis lofted the second pitch he saw just beyond the left field fence.

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"This is a unique feeling that maybe only five or less people experience in their lifetime," said Louis, who finished the tournament with five homers, the most of any player. "I feel great. It's hard to beat this feeling. I don't know what would make me feel happier."

Curacao tied the game in the fifth on Nasir El-Ossais' grand slam to center, setting off a frenzied celebration by the players, coaches and Curacao fans down the third-base side of Lamade Stadium. Nasir also drove in a run in the third.

Jaxon Kalish and Lucas Keldorf drove in two runs each for California. "The five guys that I have in the top of the lineup, they're as good as anyone in this tournament," El Segundo manager Danny Boehle said. "I stand by that full-heartedly."

It was the first trip to the final for the team from El Segundo, a community in the Los Angeles area. California's eight titles are the most by any U.S. state.

Curacao has represented the international side of the bracket in the championship the past three times non-U.S. teams have competed -- in 2019, 2022 and this year -- but has lost each time.  


Both California and Curacao took a loss during the tournament and had to play through the elimination bracket to the final.

With pitch counts mounting across the rosters, each turned to less experienced LLBWS starters.

Crew O'Connor drove in a run for El Segundo in the fourth with a single to left field that followed Max Baker's triple, giving California a 5-1 advantage. It got bumpy from there, but California came out on top.


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