Japan won the Little League World Series Sunday, besting the U.S., 12-2, in the championship game, as Japan's star player Noriatsu Osaka clubbed three home runs and starting pitcher Kotaro Kiyomiya struck out eight batters in four innings.
Japan was represented by a team from the Kitasuna Little League in Tokyo, and the U.S. was represented by a team from the Goodlettsville (Tenn.) Little League.
While Japan drilled five home runs overall, Tennessee managed only two hits in the game, one by Brock Myers and the other by Lorenzo Butler. However, both were homers.
"It feels really good, and it was really great," Butler told ESPN, referring to his batting exploits this weekend.
In a game between Goodlettsville and Petaluma, Calif., on Saturday, Butler set a Little League World Series single-game record with 9 RBIs and tied another one with three homers, as his team won a slugfest, 24-16.
The stirring victory apparently led to a wild celebration on Saturday night -- well, as wild a celebration as a group of 13-year-olds can muster. By morning, the Tennesseans appeared too tuckered out to give the game 100 percent.
"[The parents] must have partied harder than the kids did," team manager Joey Hale told ESPN. "I knew we'd be flat today."
But the Tennessee club has no plans to let the celebrations die down. According to ESPN, the team is set to make a special appearance at Vanderbilt's football-season opener against South Carolina on Thursday.
"When we get home," Hale said, "it's going to be a carnival."