Tokyo Little League

(P1) Tokyo, Japan’s, Little League players found themselves down by eight runs on Sunday, August 30. It was the first inning of the Little League championship game against Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. With more than 42,000 fans cheering on the home team on Sunday’s game in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, victory seemed OUT OF REACH.

(P2) Then team manager Junji Hidaka gathered his team to share encouraging words. “I told the players it doesn’t end until it ends,” Hidaka said through a translator. Tokyo went on to score seven runs in the second inning, four in the third inning, and five in the sixth inning. The team took home the Little League Baseball World Series championship title with a final score of 18-11.

(P3) Both Tokyo and Lewisberry scored on major plays. Tokyo’s Yugo Aoki hit a three-run homer in the second inning. Twin brothers Kengo and Shingo Tomita then hit one home run each. Lewisberry’s Dylan Rodenhaber scored a home run on his first hit of the TOURNAMENT, sending the ball SOARING over the right-field fence. Teammate Jaden Henline added a three-run homer as well.

(P4) “They just put the bat on the ball,” Lewisberry manager Tom Peifer said. “They hit pitches I’ve never seen kids, especially 12-year-olds, hit.”

(P5) The teams broke the previous Little League record of 23 combined runs in a CHAMPIONSHIP game. This record had stood since the 1947 championships. Lewisberry’s 10-run first inning was also a record, along with the team’s combined 30 hits during the game.

(P6) Tokyo’s overcoming an eight-run SHORTFALL was also the largest COMEBACK in any Little League World Series game. The team celebrated with a team HUDDLE near the pitcher’s mound.

(P7) Pennsylvania has won four previous World Series titles, most recently in 1960. With Tokyo’s comeback during the game, another victory for the state faded. “There are a lot of tears, even for myself, to know that the chance is over,” said Peifer after the team’s loss. “But we quickly told them, ‘When we leave here, let’s get the tears out, because there is nothing to be sad about.”

(P8) Members of Lewisberry’s Little League team returned to a proud HOMETOWN. Cheering fans lined the streets late on Sunday night as the team made its way to Red Land High School. They met there with local officials who congratulated the team on its hard work during the championships.

WORDS: 394



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Is baseball a popular sport in your country? Do you ever go to games yourself?
  3. Did you participate in any youth sports when you were growing up?
  4. Does international competition promote friendship or dislike among nations?
  5. What is your hometown? Do you still live there, or do you go back often to visit?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Out of reach

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