SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Louisiana claimed its first Little League World Series title on Sunday, as Marshall Louque hit a pair of doubles and drove in three runs and pitcher Egan Prather threw a two-hit shutout to lead a team from River Ridge past Curacao 8-0.
Prather shut down a powerful Curacao lineup, throwing 88 pitches over six innings. His performance in the championship capped off a solid tournament on the mound in which he picked up two victories and struck out 19 batters in 14⅓ innings.
The offensive breakthrough came in the fifth inning for Louisiana as the club representing the Southwest region scored four runs on four hits to seize control. Reece Roussel smacked an RBI double that was followed by Louque's RBI single, his third hit of the day.
Curacao threatened in the top of the third, loading the bases with one out. But a sharp ground ball to Louque at third base resulted in a forceout at the plate, and a few pitches later, Jurdrick Profar, the youngest brother of Oakland A's infielder Jurickson Profar, was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch.
With Louisiana's victory, U.S. teams have won back-to-back Little League crowns for the first time since 2009, when a team from Chula Vista, California, capped off a streak of five straight championships for the United States.
This year, the team from suburban New Orleans fought its way back through the losers bracket after dropping its first game to Hawai'i. Louisiana won six games in eight days, becoming the first team to win the LLWS after losing its first game since the tournament expanded in 2001.