WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s Semi-Final Day at the Little League World Series. Four U.S. teams took to the field in Lycoming, battling for a spot in the championship game.
Michigan’s team played Hawaii in a rematch after losing against them earlier in the World Series. Players say even if they’re not World Series champions, this has been an experience of a lifetime.
After winning regionals in Indiana, Team Michigan drove 10 hours to the Little League compound in South Williamsport. Rick Thorning, the team’s manager, says their players worked hard all season and knew they had a potential to compete.
“Alright we’re here and you kind of feel a little satisfied and then you kind of go into the ‘well, we’re here, let’s try and win this thing’,” Thorning said.
This is their first time playing in the World Series. With so many COVID restrictions in place, teams are kept apart and the stands aren’t packed with fans but Coach Thorning says they still wouldn’t trade this for anything.
“So, we know we’re kind of getting the smaller version of what Williamsport is and the World Series but we’re getting a really good version of it,” Thorning said.
Players say it’s been it’s been a long road but nothing short of unforgettable.
“Well it’s been fun being here. Some times you can meet other players with your masks on. You can get to play ping-pong and they have fields for us to play and then we get to go and watch the games,” Team Michigan player Jaxon Shufeldt said.
They’re also glad they could represent their state in the tournament.
“No one from Taylor has even done this. No one from Michigan in a while has been a top four team so this is kind of shocking,” Team Michigan player Jakob Furkas said.
Regardless of taking home the championship title, Coach Thorning says he’s proud of how far they’ve come.
“The accomplishments that they have so far, I mean that’s enough to make anyone smile and anybody be happy for their children or their Little Leaguers,” Thorning said.
Michigan won against Hawaii 2-1. They will play Ohio Sunday in the championship game at 3 p.m.