SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- An American flag draped around his shoulders, Braydon Salzman couldn't contain his glee when he found California teammate Nick Pratto to give him a postgame hug.
The boys from Huntington Beach are headed home with a Little League World Series championship.
Pratto singled in the winning run with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of sixth inning, and Salzman pitched a complete-game three-hitter in a 2-1 victory Sunday over Hamamatsu City, Japan, in the final.
"USA! USA," yelled fans before Pratto's single.
"I was just thinking. 'Oh God, oh God,' Before I was getting in the box," the 12-year-old Pratto said. "But once I got into the box, I calmed myself by telling myself to just look for a good pitch."
Pratto's clutch hit returned the World Series title to the United States. A U.S. team has now won six out of the last seven World Series, with Japan's win last year the exception.
With runners on first and second, an error by Japan shortstop Gaishi Iguchi on what could have been an inning-ending double play loaded the bases for California. After a force play at the plate, Pratto smacked a solid liner to center to plate Eric Anderson with the winning run.