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It's Puerto Rico vs. California for the world championship of the Junior League Baseball World Series on Sunday in Taylor

AYLOR, MICHIGAN – Teams from Puerto Rico and California will play for the world championship in the 13- and 14-year-old division of Little League Baseball during the 39th annual Junior League Baseball World Series at Noon Sunday at Taylor's Heritage Park.

The Radames Lopez Little League junior all-stars from Guayama, Puerto Rico, broke a streak of six straight JLWS titles by Asia-Pacific teams from Chinese Taipei with an extra-inning walk-off single on Friday. The win gave the national champions of Puerto Rico the tournament's International championship as well.

The Golden Hill Little League junior all-stars from Fullerton, California, are 3-0 entering the World Series finale. The Southern California state champions secured the USA championship with a 7-2 win over Southeast champion Melbourne, Florida.

Heritage Park is located at 12111 Pardee Road. Admission is $5 per carload, which includes parking. The world championship game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Puerto Rico enters the World Series finale 4-1, avenging its only defeat of the eight-day tournament to Chinese Taipei. California, which had a bye early in the week, is the only undefeated team left at 3-0.

Teams from Puerto Rico have won five JLWS world championships, the last coming in 1999 – 20 years ago. USA West regional champions have won 10 world titles in the 39-year history of the JLWS, the last coming in 2019 – 10 years ago.

In more recent years, Chinese Taipei teams have dominated the JLWS, earning a spot in the series the last 10 years and winning the world championship seven of those years, including a six-year streak that came to an end this year. In fact, Friday's loss to Puerto Rico was the first suffered in the World Series by Chinese Taipei since 2012.

The World Series for teams of 13- and 14-year-old players from around the globe is run in a "modified double-elimination format." Teams play until they lose twice. At this point in the tournament, it becomes a single-elimination event with the winners advancing.

The Junior League Baseball World Series is considered the "older brother" of the more famous Little League World Series for 12-year-olds that is played in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The JLWS was founded in Taylor, Michigan, in 1981 by a group of Little League enthusiasts and volunteers – and has been played at Heritage Park ever since. Greg Bzura has remained director since its inception.

Twelve teams started the World Series last Sunday – six in the USA Pool and six in the International Pool. Besides California and Florida, the USA teams were Michigan District 5 champion and Host team Taylor, Michigan; East region champ Berlin, Maryland; Southwest region champ Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Central region champ Johnston, Iowa. Besides Chinese Taipei and the national champions of Puerto Rico, the International Pool includes Latin America champ Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico; the Australian national champ from Perth, West Australia; the Europe-Africa region champ from Bologna, Italy; and the Canadian national champ from Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Home Run Derby

Alejandro Arrendondo of Mexico won the annual Junior League World Series Home Run Derby on Friday. Cole Loftis of Taylor was runner-up. The other six finalists were Drew Thorning of Taylor, Appollos Horrell of Florida, Adiel Rivera of Puerto Rico, Nicola Spagnolo of Italy and Cesar Monjaras and Alejandro Gutierrez.

fFor more information about the World Series, visit the new JLWS website The World Series has an active Facebook page, The World Series Instagram page is active during World Series week. Search jlws_taylor.


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