The Little League World Series champions are scheduled today to return to El Segundo, where they will be driven in a caravan on Main Street “like rock stars.”
The caravan will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Imperial Highway and head south to El Segundo Boulevard, according to a post on the El Segundo Little League’s Facebook page.
The public is asked to “bring signs, wear ESLL clothing or colors, balloons, kids, pets, cheers, whatever!! Show your ESLL and All-Stars pride,” the league posted.
There will be a parade honoring the team on Main Street Sept. 10, the league announced Saturday.
El Segundo won the Little League World Series in dramatic fashion Sunday, as Louis Lappe homered leading off the bottom of the sixth and final inning to defeat the all-star team from the Willemstad, Curacao-based Pabao Little League, 6-5, in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
“I was just looking for a good pitch,” Lappe told ABC after hitting his Series-leading fifth home run in seven games. “My mentality was just get the next guy up and if we kept doing that, we would have won either way, but I’ll take the homer.”
El Segundo manager Danny Boehle told ABC he was “shocked” Willemstad pitched to Lappe “but again, in baseball, you can’t put the winning run on first base no matter what, so they pitched to him.”
The home run was the first Willemstad allowed in its six World Series games.
Lappe reached base on all three of his plate appearances Sunday at Howard J. Lamade Stadium. He singled in the first and scored one out later on Lucas Keldorf’s double. Brody Brooks, who led off with a single, also scored on the play.
Lappe walked in the third to load the bases with two outs. Jaxon Kalish, the next batter, singled in Colby Lee and Brooks, who both walked.
El Segundo increased its lead to 5-1 in the fourth when Max Baker led off with a triple and scored one out later on Crew O’Connor’s single.
Willemstad tied the score in the fifth inning on Nasir El-Ossais’ grand slam.
Boehle replaced starting pitcher Ollie Parks with Kalish after Parks walked Helmir Helmijr on a full-count pitch with one out in the fifth inning. Parks had thrown 74 pitches, 11 short of the maximum. (A pitcher can continue to pitch to the same batter after reaching the limit.)
Kalish walked the first batter he faced, Juan Cleto Ferreras, then was relieved by Baker, who allowed a single by Jayvery Felicia to load the bases. Baker struck out Jay-Dlynn Wiel for the second out, but El-Ossais hit the next pitch for a grand slam.
Willemstad scored its first run in the third. Jay-Dlynn Wiel singled with two outs, advanced to second on El-Ossais’ single, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Shemar Sophia Jacobus’ single.
Brooks, the last of four El Segundo pitchers, was credited with the victory, pitching a hitless sixth inning, walking one and striking out two.
Wiel, the second Willemstad pitcher, was charged with the loss, allowing two runs and four hits in 2 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking one.
Sean Serverie, the Willemstad starter, allowed four runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked two.
El Segundo had to overcome multiple challenges en route to becoming the fourth Los Angeles County team to win the Little League World Series.
Several players were afflicted with a stomach virus when the World Series began Aug. 17. El Segundo had to win three consecutive games in three days to reach the U.S. championship game after being relegated to the elimination bracket of the modified double-elimination tournament with a 3-1 loss to the all-star team from the Needville (Texas) Little League on Monday.
El Segundo avenged that loss with a 6-1 victory over Needville in the U.S. championship game Saturday.
El Segundo was 20-2 in five tournaments this summer. Its other loss was to the all-star team from the Sherman Oaks Little League, 4-3, in the opening game of the championship series of the Southern California State Tournament on July 31. It won the rematch, 3-2, later that day.
This is second consecutive year Willemstad lost in the championship game. Five players returned from the team that lost to the all-star team from the Honolulu Little League, 13-3, in the 2022 final, in a game called in the fourth inning because of the run rule.
This was the fifth time a team from Curacao has advanced to the championship game, all from the Pabao Little League. Willemstad won in 2004, but also lost in 2005 and 2019 in addition to 2022 and 2023.