El Segundo rallies to win Little League World Series opener, 4-3, against Ohio

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Friday, August 18, 2023
El Segundo set to play in team's first Little League World Series game
The all-star team from El Segundo will begin play in the Little League World Series, the second team from L.A. County to advance to the event.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (KABC) -- The all-star team from El Segundo rallied to win its opening game in the Little League World Series Thursday night, beating Ohio 4-3 in a rain-shortened game.

With El Segundo down 3-1 in the third inning, Brody Brooks and Louis Lappe hit back-to-back home runs, a two-run shot to center followed by a solo homer to right field to take the lead at 4-3.

That was enough to hold off Ohio when the game was called at the end of the fourth inning after a 2 1/2-hour rain delay.

With the opening victory over the Great Lakes representative, the team from El Segundo won its fourth straight dating back to a West regional tournament that included Hawaii, the state that produced the winners of last year's title, and had represented the West every year the tournament was played since 2018.

El Segundo qualified for the World Series by defeating the all-star team from the San Ramon-based Bollinger Canyon Little League, 3-1, in the championship game of the West Region Tournament on Friday night at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino.

"I never would have dreamed we made it here," said Louis Lapp, a pitcher and first and third baseman. "I would have hoped. I thought we would have been really good, but wow, 20 teams in the whole world and we're one of them? Pretty cool."

El Segundo opened World Series play by facing the all-star team from the New Albany (Ohio) Little League, the Great Lakes Region champion, in the modified double-elimination tournament. The game was televised by ESPN2. A watch party was planned at Rock & Brews El Segundo on Main Street.

"This is one of the biggest games in our season so far, so there's definitely a little nerves, but we're probably more energetic and ready to play this first game," said center fielder Max Baker before the game was played.

El Segundo is 14-1 in four tournaments this summer. It lost 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 July 31, then won the rematch, 3-2, later that day.

El Segundo is the first Los Angeles County team to win the West Region Tournament since 1994, when the all-star team from the Northridge Little League won and went on to win the U.S. championship with a team including future USC and NFL quarterback Matt Cassel.

The El Segundo Little League team is ready to make its Little League World Series debut Thursday as one of the favorites to take home the title.

One other team from Los Angeles County has qualified for the Little League World Series over that span. The all-star team from the Torrance Little League qualified for the Little League World Series in 2021 when the series was limited to U.S. teams because of the coronavirus and each of the top two teams from the eight U.S. regions advanced to the World Series instead of just the champion.

Los Angeles County teams have won the Little League World Series three times. The all-star team from the Granada Hills National Little League won in 1963 and teams from the Long Beach Little League won in 1992 and 1993.

The tournament began Wednesday and ends Aug. 27.

Want to watch a game? The Little League World Series games will air on ESPN and ESPN2.

City News Service and the Associated Press contributed to this report.