SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Win or lose in Sunday's championship game of the Little League World Series, Jurickson Profar will have quite a story to tell when he returns to Willemstad, Curacao.
Profar, a lanky right-handed pitcher, battled bouts of wildness
but still struck out 12 batters Saturday night, while also singling and scoring a
run to help Curacao beat Chiba City, Japan, 2-0 in the international title game.
The defending champs will take on West Oahu of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, in the title game. Hawaii (5-0) routed Rancho Buena Vista of Vista, Calif., 6-1 in the U.S. championship game.
Profar and Curacao got even for a 9-0 loss to Japan earlier in the tournament, and returned to the title game a second straight year. Profar won two games last year.
"We feel invincible when Profar is on the mound," Curacao outfielder Rayshelon Carolina said through an interpreter.
On Saturday, Profar allowed two hits in the game and struck out the side in the fourth and fifth innings, though he threw erratically at times. With two outs in the fourth, Shuhei Iwata walked for Japan, then advanced to third on two wild pitches by Profar.
Yusuke Taira walked for Japan to put runners on first and third before Profar got Takuya Sakamoto to strike out and end the inning.
Profar scored a run in the first inning after singling, going to second on a fielder's choice and advancing to third on an error. He scored on Sorick Liberia's single.