Homers: Little leaguers ready to show power at World Series

Written by Matt Martell/Associated Press | Aug 16, 2017 5:51 PM

Japan's Yugo Aoki (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning run on a walk-off, bases loaded, fielder's choice by Koki Jo during the seventh inning of the International championship baseball game against Mexico at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. Japan won 1-0. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(South Williamsport) -- Like your baseball with some offensive firepower? The Little League World Series looks like the place to be starting Thursday.

The 16 teams competing at the 71st annual tournament boast some gaudy statistics. Eight are from the United States and eight are from other parts of the world.

The Mid-Atlantic team from Jackson, New Jersey, averaged 10.8 runs across four regional games, the best mark of any American team. Mid-Atlantic will face a New England team on Thursday that hasn't lost all summer.

On the international side, the Asia-Pacific Region's representative from Seoul, South Korea, outscored its regional opponents 45-2 in a four-game span. Japan averaged 13 runs per game.

Coach Jason Hill of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, says it's the evolution of the game as kids get bigger and stronger. Hill says the game has progressed, with coaches teaching more mechanics, selection and hitting philosophy.

Matt Martell is a journalism student at Penn State. Penn State is partnering with The Associated Press to supplement coverage of the 2017 Little League World Series.

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