Thursday, August 16, 2018

New England Defeats Japan to Win First-Ever Little League Baseball® World Series Virtual Home Run Derby Tournament

Photo by John Green
12-year-old Aiden Wilkins from Coventry, RI claims tournament title; Special highlight recap show to air Sunday on ESPN and the ESPN app at 4:30 p.m. (ET)
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA — Today, Little League players representing each of the 16 International and U.S. teams participating in the 2018 Little League Baseball® World Series competed in a special Home Run Derby VR (virtual reality) video game championship tournament, hosted by Major League Baseball in partnership with Little League® International and ESPN. Aiden Wilkins, representing the New England region from Coventry, RI, defeated Japan’s Yuta Shimizu in an exciting back-and-forth final round to win The Home Run Derby VR Little League Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Wilkins, Shimizu and the other 14 tournament competitors will be featured in a 30-minute special highlight recap show, airing on ESPN and the ESPN app on Sunday, August 19, at 4:30 p.m. (ET).

The players competed in a four-round bracket-style tournament, using an All-Star multiplayer edition of the award-winning VR game set in a custom built hi-res visualization of Nationals Park.

A complete list of the players representing the 16 teams is below (region; location incuded):

United States
Ryan Henderson (Great Lakes; Grosse Pointe Woods, MI)
Jansen Kenty (Southeast; Peachtree City, GA)
George Kugle (Southwest; Houston, TX)
Braeden Newby (Northwest; Coeur d’Alene, ID)
Hunter Nishina (West; Honolulu, HI)
Frank Scerra (Mid-Atlantic; Staten Island, NY)
Brody Watson (Midwest; Des Moines, IA)
Aiden Wilkins (New England; Coventry, RI)

Ji Hyung Choi (Asia-Pacific; Seoul, South Korea)
Toni Cortes (Europe & Africa; Barcelona, Spain)
Yadiel Delgado (Caribbean; Guayama, Puerto Rico)
Fynn Komulainen (Australia; Gold Coast, Queensland)
Angel Martinez (Mexico; Matamoros, Tamaulipas)
Colten Myers (Canada; Surrey, British Columbia)
Yuta Shimizu (Japan; Kawaguchi, Japan)
Brian Villarreal (Latin America; Arraijan, Panama)

The entire championship tournament aired live on ESPN3 and in the ESPN app, hosted by MLB Network’s Alexa Datt and popular gamers and content creators RealShelfy and Fuzzy.

Beginning tomorrow, fans of all ages attending the Little League Baseball World Series will have the opportunity to step into the virtual batter’s box at Nationals Park. The same Home Run Derby VR video experience used today during the Home Run Derby VR Little League Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will be open to the public during the open hours of PLAY BALL Park and the DICK’S Sporting Goods activation within the Family Fun Zone from August 16-23.