Little League World Series

Day 4: Notebook

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Author(s): Teddy Cahill, Mark Price, Mark Rogoff, and Allie Weinberger

Source: South Williamsport, Pa.

Date: Monday, August 23, 2010 ET

The final two games of Day 4 of the Little League Baseball World Series were rained out.

The 6 p.m. contest featuring Hamilton, Ohio (1-0) and Columbus, Ga. (1-0), was initially delayed a little more than an hour. The game was suspended during the bottom of the first, and officially postponed at 8:38 p.m. The game will be replayed from the beginning Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Lamade Stadium, and the pitches thrown will not be applied toward the pitch count rules.

The 8 p.m. elimination game pitting Fairfield, Conn. (1-1), against Auburn, Wash. (1-1), never got underway. The tilt will also be made up Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Lamade.

A Scary Moment

Home plate umpire Stephen Meyer of Canada endured one of the scariest moments of the 2010 Little League World Series in the bottom of the first inning of Monday night's Ohio-Georgia clash just prior to the rain delay. A foul tip off the bat of Georgia's Jacob Pate ripped straight back and hit him directly in the throat, sending the official stumbling backward and knocking him to the ground.

Meyer received immediate attention from the Little League medical staff, and after a few quiet and scary minutes at Volunteer Stadium, was able to walk off the field under his own power.

Doctors on the scene did not send Meyer to the hospital. He will be reevaluated Tuesday morning to decide whether he will return to action.

They’re All Champions

Losing isn’t going to stop any of the Little League Baseball World Series participants from having a good time.

Plymouth, Minn., became the first team to be eliminated from championship contention with a 5-2 loss Saturday night to Auburn, Wash. The Midwest champions had one more game to look forward to, a consolation matchup with Germany on Monday, which the European champs won 2-1.

That left all day Sunday to mope around The Grove, right? Not a chance. The Midwest players got to spend time with their families.

“It’s always tough to lose,” said Assistant Coach Matt Deterding. “But they’re resilient.

It was a theme that’s been repeated often at the Little League complex the past couple days. Many of the teams that advanced to Williamsport aren’t used to losing, but have handled it well.

Auburn lost its opening game to Fairfield, Conn. on Friday.  The Northwest champions had never lost a game together.  It had been so long since any of the players had lost manager Kai Nahaku wasn’t sure how his team would take it.

But when he got to the dorms after the postgame press conference, he found a team ready for the next game.

“They were talking about how Chula Vista losing and coming back [last year],” Nahaku said. “They were more mad at themselves for not preparing.”

With the tournament switching from pool play to a double elimination format, more emphasis is placed on winning the opening game. But if the players know that, they haven’t let it on.

“I felt like it was just another game we lost,” Auburn outfielder Dillon O’Grady said. “Everyone took it well and we popped back up.”

But just because they aren’t hanging their heads after every loss, doesn’t mean the players aren’t keeping track of what’s going on. Washington will get another chance to place Connecticut, a matchup they look forward to.

“We really want to bounce back and beat Connecticut,” pitcher Ikaika Nahaku said. “We felt like we could beat them.”

Sshhh! Here’s the pitch

Libraries are known for being quiet, reflective places. Curiously, however, the Pequot Library in Fairfield, Conn., has asked the townspeople to show up and get rowdy for a couple hours at a time on select nights this week.

“We have an auditorium that opened in 1893,” said head librarian Robyn Swan Fillipone. “It was built as a place for musicals and plays.”

Since the 19th century, a large video screen has been added to the auditorium, giving one Pequot patron the idea of using the 220-seat hall as a viewing venue for the 2010 Little League World Series, in which local American Little League is participating as the New England representative.

With that in mind, Fillipone invited the town to “come on out to the ballgame”, and the invitation was well received. According to Fillipone, about 80 or more guests showed up to watch Friday afternoon’s 3-1 win over Auburn, Wash. Guests included Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and NBC New York reporter Roseanne Colletti.

A local Frito-Lay distributor donated Cracker Jacks and other ballpark snacks to the library, but Pequot is eating the cost of everything else. This is a small sacrifice for such an occasion, claimed Fillipone.

“We’re happy to be doing it,” she said. “Everybody loved it [Friday], and we’re glad we’re doing it tonight.”

Tonight, unfortunately, did not happen thanks to rain in South Williamsport. Last night, the rain visited Fairfield around the time New England’s game against Texas began, resulting in only about 20 guests visiting the library.

Winfield Sounds Off in Williamsport

Hall of Famer Dave WinfieldHall of Famer Dave Winfield dropped by the Little League World Series Monday to help promote Susan G. Komen for the Cure and raise awareness about breast cancer.

Winfield also was given the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Game 17 of the Little League World Series between the Great Lakes and Southeast region champions.

In a press conference before the game, Winfield sounded off on a variety of topics from his 22-year career, having tasted all the highs and lows a profession in baseball has to offer.

“I think I experienced it all—the depths of despair and the heights of enjoyment in the game,” said Winfield. “Six teams, both leagues, both countries, both coasts. From last place—way in last place—and to first place. From going back to playing against Willie Mays and Hank Aaron all the way up to the Randy Johnsons and the Griffeys. I covered a lot. It’s been great. That’s why I continue to talk about the sport, participate in it.”

Winfield said his various backgrounds allowed him to cheer for multiple teams at this year’s World Series, specifically Minnesota and New Jersey.

Out of This World

Team Mexico Group Shot at the NASA Experience TrailerTeam Mexico paid a visit to the NASA trailer in the parking lot of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Monday morning prior to its 4-2 win over Puerto Rico.

Inside the trailer, the kids touched a moon rock that was on display.  They also watched a six-minute 3D video about the NASA program.