Win or lose, players from Pearland were always going to end their Little League World Series run in the arms of those who love them. Tonight, after losing in the US Championship game, it was hugs from mom and dad that greeted the players.
The Little League World Series tournament is over for Pearland, but the boys made it to the final four and that is something that no one will ever take away from them. The parents and grandparents and fans who traveled to Williamsport saw great baseball games. The boys from Pearland can take pride in what they did here during the games and beyond. The players are great boys.
They are thoughtful, well-mannered, dedicated, intelligent and fun to be around. It has been an honor to tell their story.
To the players, coaches and parents from all of us at KTRK, thank you and job well done.
It's game time
Right now Pearland is among the elite in the nation in Little League Baseball. Now we find out if the play for the championship of the world. Today, the boys got some quick batting practice in and watched the Challenger game before getting ready to play ball.
We spoke with Jorge Gutierrez and Chris Leger a few hours ago. The players seemed relaxed and confident.FRIDAY Waiting for their opponent Today started with ESPN interviews with some of the players. Then it was off to a pre-practice press conference for Mike Orlando, Jorge Gutierrez and Beau Orlando. After that, the boys headed to the practice field. The boys say they had a hard time getting to sleep last night after the big come-from-behind victory. Mathew Bettencourt, who made a clutch throw to keep the Northwest team from scoring, has not stopped smiling. Last night, the boys had a chance to watch the game replay. They are still excited. The day before though it was a different story. On Wednesday, the team lost to the Northwest champion. Following that loss the boys went to bed early, turning off the TV and staying out of the Grove's rec room. Tomorrow the boys from Pearland take on the winner of Georgia versus Hawaii to see who will represent the USA on Sunday. As it stands right now, Pearland is one of the top four Little League teams in the world.
Pearland players, coaches react to winWOW! What a game! Pearland advances to the USA championship at the Little League World Series. After the game, we spoke with Mathew Bettencourt, Mason Van Noort and Jaron Roblyer. The players are saying how great it is to be from Pearland and getting a chance to represent the USA. Manager Mike Orlando told us after the loss on Wednesday the players went to bed early, which is rare for Pearland players this series. Orlando said the boys also shunned the game room at the International Grove and turned off the television. The boys, he said, were focused and did not want to leave Williamsport by losing two games in a row. The best quote after the game came from Marisa Van Noort, Mason's mom, who said, "It's awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome!" The boys play the winner of pool "A" on Saturday. The winner of that game plays in the World Championship Sunday, which is awesome indeed. Pearland wins! Pearland wins! The Little Leaguers came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat Washington, 7-5. The team advances to the US championship game versus the winner of tonight's Georgia-Hawaii game. Score to settle
The final of last night's Pearland versus Auburn, Washington game remains on the score board at Lamade Stadium in Williamsport.
The two teams are preparing to play again in just a couple of hours.
It's game day again for PearlandThe Pearland all stars are getting ready to take to the field today at 7pm central. The team remains low key on game days, choosing to stay in the players only section of the International Grove. Today, Pearland takes on a team from Auburn, Washington. The Northwest team is the only one in the group Pearland has not seen. This is still a double elimination format, so if Pearland loses,there will be a rematch between the teams on Thursday. A victory will send Pearland to the US championship game. TUESDAY Rain, rain go away After a stormy Monday, today is a beautiful day for baseball, but Pearland is not playing. The rain yesterday forced games to be delayed and that pushed back Pearland's third game to Wednesday. A day to rest sounds good, but not in the World of Little League. Pearland was to play the winner of the between Connecticut and Washington State. Those teams had used up their starting pitching so the winner would likely not be able to start their best pitcher against Pearland. Rain gave those teams a chance to rest. How will that impact Pearland? The practice fields were also too wet to play on so Pearland had to stick to the batting cages. Weather permitting, Pearland plays Wednesday night. If the team wins, it is on to the US championship game scheduled for Saturday. It they lose Wednesday, they get a shot at revenge by playing the same opponent the next day to determine which team plays in the US championship game. MONDAY Pearland prepares for next game Pearland's players are back on the practice field. The team won big yesterday against Connecticut. The game ended early due to the 10-run rule. Long time LLWS watchers tell me it is uncommon to see the 10-run rule in Williamsport. SUNDAY New fans root for Pearland Pearland's Little League all stars are attracting a lot of attention here in Williamsport. The boys have their second game today, weather permittin,g and it appears they will have an expanded cheering section. Some girls from Virginia have picked out their favorite Pearland player from the team's Facebook page. The girls were driven here by their dads. SATURDAY Practice makes perfect Fresh off their first ever Little League World Series win, the boys from Pearland are back on the practice field. They took fielding and batting practice. One highlight of the practice was the players trying out new gear from equipment makers. One new bat from Easton was used in Friday's game and was the bat that produced the first home run in Pearland's 10-8 victory over Minnesota. Saturday is an off day for the boys and after practice they get to spend time with their moms and dads. The boys will have a pool party Saturday night before getting ready to take on Connecticut on Sunday night. Team "uncles" pitch in to help out Each Little League World Series team gets two "uncles" who help the boys stay on schedule and even help with the laundry. The uncles live in Williamsport and volunteer each year. Pearland's team uncles are experienced. Dick Reitz has been an uncle for 27 years, and Dennis Kelley has been an uncle for 28 years. FRIDAY All-Stars win Game 1 It's official! The Pearland All Stars are big stars at the Little League World Series. After the game Jake Orlando, Jorge Gutierrez and Blake Toler were in a press conference. When that wrapped up, dozens of young fans walked up and asked the players for autographs. Pearland plays its next game Sunday at 7pm CT. Play ball! The Pearland team has wrapped up it's practice and the national anthem is over... time to play some baseball! The team moms are all sporting cowgirl hats and rhinestone-studded t-shirts with the name of their sons on the back. The dads are a bit more subdued, but still ready to cheer the team to victory. As I look over the crowd, the cowboy hats make it clear Pearland is well represented. LLWS Opening Ceremonies The opening ceremonies are starting at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport. The Pearland team is taking the field. The good news is that the lucky charm carried by team mom Marisa Van Noort is here. Legend has it the team wins every tournament that the charm has been on her arm. THURSDAY Pearland players get tips from Nomar! You never know who you will see at the Little League World Series. Today former MLB player Nomar Garciaparra was working with teams and a film crew from ESPN. After meeting with the Pearland team, players asked if Garciaparra would help them during batting practice. How can anyone say no? You can see more of the players with Nomar by clicking here or on the video above. Pearland ready to play Pearland will be wearing blue and silver as it represents the Southwest in the Little League World Series. Team moms tell us the boys are ready to play. This afternoon the team takes to the field for a practice session and then they take part in the Little League parade later today. Most of the parents get here today and tomorrow. Pearland's first game is Friday against the Midwest regional champ. The game is at 2pm CT on ESPN. From Houston to Saudi Arabia? There is another Houston team is playing in the Little League World Series. I spoke with the team mom from Saudi Arabia, and the kids have almost all at some point lived in Houston. The manager moved from Sugar Land. You can see more by clicking here or on the video above.