A day after topping Georgia in a thriller to win the United States bracket, Hawaii beat South Korea to win the Little League World Series title on Sunday.
Mana Lau Kong launched the first South Korea pitch of the game over the right-center field wall to give the boys from Honolulu a lead they would never relinquish in a 3-0 victory.
Hawaii pitches rare LLWS shutout
The victory secured the third Little League title for a Hawaiian team, all of them coming in the past 13 years. It was the first shutout in a LLWS title game since 2002 when Kentucky beat Japan, 1-0.
“It was great,” starting pitcher Ka’olu Holt said of Kong’s first-inning home run, “because we all knew that pitcher was tough to hit.”
Holt pitched his first career complete game to earn the win.
Barack Obama congratulates LLWS champs
The win earned praise from Hawaii’s most prominent native, former President Barack Obama who gave the team a Twitter shoutout.
Congratulations to Hawaii for winning the Little League World Series! You make America very proud. 🤙🏾 https://t.co/8Un7LPXgX1
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2018
Here was a reaction to the shoutout:
When the 44th President of the United States slides into your mentions 😯 #LLWS
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) August 26, 2018
It also provided some needed good news for Hawaii, as the state recovers in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Lane, which dumped more than 2 feet of rain on the Big Island over the weekend.
It was the third appearance in the LLWS final in the past five years for South Korea, which won the championship in 2014. The victory was the third shutout of the tournament in five games for Hawaii, which gave up three runs over the course of the tournament.
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