WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The 39th annual Little League World Series was decided, as are many Little League games, by mistakes and pitching.
Seoul, South Korea, defeated Mexicali, Mexico, 7-1, Saturday as control pitcher You Yong Jung threw a one-hitter while Mexicali made crucial mistakes and its pitcher had trouble finding the plate.
"I felt good," said You, who also hit a two-run double in a four-run fifth. "I was a little nervous because I wasn't loose the first couple of innings.
"We're proud to be champions. I wasn't sure we could do it. But by the end of the fifth, I was sure."
It was the second straight world championship for Korean Coach Seong Yeol Kwag, who coached a different team from Seoul to last year's title, and it was only the second time one city has produced consecutive championship teams.
"This time, our pitching was weaker than last time, but they came through," he said.
Seong said he only expected to get two innings from Jung, "but he started getting better ball control, so I kept him in."
Saturday was Mexicali Manager Jesus Limon's 29th birthday.
"I wanted a world championship for my birthday, but I'm still happy," he said. "We're all very happy just to have this chance."
The turning points were obvious: a three-run first and the four-run fifth, helped by pitcher Ricardo Ponce's wildness.
"In the first inning, the bunt they pulled off, and then the fifth," Limon said. "Ponce was in control and dominating, but it got away from him."
"Back home, we're going to have a big party," said Kwag with a smile. "We expect that--nationwide."
Asian teams have won 15 of the last 19 World Series, which have been held for 11- to 13-year-olds in Little League's birthplace since 1947.
Saturday's championship, the first without a U.S. team, attracted a crowd of 35,000 to Lamade Stadium and a national television audience that saw the Koreans score three times in the first and four more in the fifth.
With one out in the first, Dong Hyuk Kim walked and took third on Kyung Kwan Cho's single to center. Zin Young You singled to left, scoring Dong and sending Kyung to third, with Zin taking second on the throw.
Jai Hak Shim's squeeze bunt scored Kyung, and Zin came in when third baseman Santiago Villaescusa's errant throw got past the catcher.
Mexicali scored in the fourth after Ernesto Carrasco hit a perfect bunt down the third base line that third baseman Kyung Hwan Cho threw away, allowing Carrasco to take second.
One out later, Ricardo Ponce singled to center and Carrasco slid home safely despite a strong throw from center fielder Shin Il Lim.
Seoul scored four unearned runs in the fifth. Kim singled with one out, took third when Cho reached base on an error and You walked to load the bases.
After a strikeout, Ponce walked Yong Sub Han, hit Ji Oung Ryu with a pitch and gave up a two-run double to Jung.
You, who won Seoul's Series opener, walked just one and struck out seven.
Ponce, a hard-throwing right-hander with a big kick in his delivery, struck out eight, walked five and gave up five hits.
Seoul had reached the championship by winning the Far East region, then routing Maracaibo, Venezuela, 13-2, and Binbrook, Canada, 16-0.
Mexicali, a border city that played in the West region for 22 years before reaching the series for the first time this year, defeated Staten Island, N.Y., 6-3, and Morristown, Tenn., 2-1.