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Joe Tango from San Diego 08-23-09 05:03 AM

You watching the Little League World Series?
 
A quick shoutout to the two winners of pool B in the Little League World Series, my home town Chula Vista, CA & San Antonio, TX. I know a kid on the West team (Way to go Bradley!) personally, but I watched the Southwest team play on Friday and I feel Tuesday's game between these two will be awesome! Good luck to both teams!

spurs178 08-23-09 05:40 AM

Nerves throw no curves at McAllister
 
Nerves throw no curves at McAllister

Web Posted: 08/23/2009 12:00 CDT
Nerves throw no curves at McAllister
By Lorne Chan - Express-News

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Before McAllister Park faced off against Peabody, Mass., in their Little League World Series opener Friday, the two teams sat across from each other in an otherwise empty cafeteria.

McAllister Park players were loud and laid-back while they ate dinner and joked around.

Peabody players sat silently. Some barely touched their food.

“You could sort of tell that on the other team, they were pretty nervous,” Zach Morrow said. “They had no one talking. Afterward, I was throwing away my trash, and they were throwing away full plates.”

Pregame dinners aren't accurate indicators of success, but Friday's meal showed some of McAllister Park's strength in its 10-1 victory against Peabody.

McAllister Park is having a ball here at the LLWS. And when it came time to play ball, the team's looseness helped handle the nerves that come with playing before 13,500 and on ESPN.

“Everybody gets nervous,” pitcher/catcher Travis Daves said. “But it doesn't take much for us to get relaxed and just play baseball.”

Entering today's game against Russellville, Ky., at 1 p.m., McAllister manager Mike Shull was quick to point out that a laid-back attitude doesn't mean laziness.

“They're comfortable, and they're confident,” Shull said. “They take this game very seriously, but what you see in their fun is how much they love this game.”

Familiarity is a big reason for McAllister's calm attitude. Because eight of McAllister's 12 players have been on this team for the past three years, most of the poise comes from having confidence in teammates.

Morrow had to move to third base from the outfield after a right arm injury to Drew Brooks moved Brooks from shortstop to first and set off a domino effect.

Friday, in the Little League World Series, was Morrow's first live game at third base. He plays shortstop during the Little League regular season but never third.

Morrow fielded two ground balls, including one in the first inning, and fielded both cleanly.

“I haven't taken a ground ball in a game in three months,” Morrow said. “After I got that first one, I wasn't worried about it.”

Brooks' injury also moved Daves up to the No. 1 pitcher.

Daves responded by throwing a complete game Friday, only allowing three hits and walking one.

Next up on the mound is John Shull, the manager's son, who will pitch for the first time since feeling soreness in his right arm in an Aug. 7 game. He said he's back at 100 percent.

“I hope I can do really good,” John Shull said. “I'm more excited than nervous to get to pitch in front of so many people and on TV.”

After such a convincing victory against Peabody, Mass., what will the laid-back McAllister Park boys do today against Russellville, Ky.?

“I think we should just go out there and play like we did on Friday every time,” Morrow said.

Joe Tango from San Diego 08-23-09 05:36 PM

McAllister looked awesome once again. Great job San Antonio! Go Chula Vista! West Blue Bombers let it roll!

Dasher 08-23-09 06:04 PM

McAllister Park a story worthy of cheers
 
Web Posted: 08/23/2009 12:00 CDT
McAllister Park a story worthy of cheers
Richard Oliver

I know the rule.

As a journalist for more than three decades, toting a notebook and pen into sporting venues from Mexico City to Buffalo to Honolulu, I've heard the warning issued so many times, it's become nothing more than background noise:

There is no cheering allowed in the press box.

Reporting, by definition, is all about objectivity, straddling the fence so hard that we're hitting high notes that Mariah Carey could only imagine.

But as Jacob Ramos' long drive curled inside the right-field pole at South Williamsport, Pa., on Friday night, a three-run blast that effectively nailed down McAllister Park's opening win at the Little League World Series, a crowd at Fatso's Sports Garden erupted in cheers.

And I launched from my seat as if set on fire.

So much for objectivity.

I have my reasons to cast aside journalistic tethers. I know the families of many of the youngsters now representing San Antonio at Lamade Stadium and watched my own son scamper around the bases at McAllister Park not so long ago.

I loosened my restraints a few times in those days, as well, as an umpire or two can attest.

Yet, there are more than personal motives to root for our hometown youngsters.

It's been a tough summer in sports, filled with too many headlines about Michael Vick, Jeremy Mayfield, Memphis basketball and Alex Rodriguez.

Sometimes, between all the sex, steroids and SAT cheating, it's hard to see the games for all the smog of scandal.

Athletics these days has evolved more than ever into tabloid fodder, as we've read as much about Rick Pitino getting busy with a lady friend as we have about the Texas Rangers getting busy in the wild-card chase.

Too often, we're just not sure whether we're watching “SportsCenter” or a Lil' Wayne music video.

Little wonder, then, that a crowd of hundreds sat, spellbound, at a North Side sports bar Friday night to watch any one of several television sets tuned in to the Little League World Series. There, a dozen San Antonio kids played a game with the kind of innocent delight that cleared away such pollution.

Before the game, the 12- and 13-year-olds prepared for the biggest night of their lives by sliding down the grass hill adjacent to the stadium. Not long before the opening pitch, they goofed around on the field.

When the action began, though competing before a worldwide audience, they grinned and danced in the dugout, fist-bumped and high-fived. Back in San Antonio, a roomful of family, friends and McAllister Park teammates followed along, the mood soaring and dipping like a storm-tossed buoy.

When Steve Cardone ripped a three-run double to center in the third inning, providing all the scoring punch the Texans would need, the crowd at Fatso's executed the largest group hug the city had seen since Pope John Paul II stopped by in 1987.

When pitcher Travis Daves shut down Massachusetts' rallies, fists were pumped in the air. And when Ramos turned on an inside pitch, cranking it toward a distant foul pole in the fourth, the gathering came to its feet and leaned in unison to the left, willing the ball to stay fair.

It did, and the party began in earnest. As a veteran journalist, I can attest to it.

I was standing up at the time. Cheering.

[email protected]


McAllister Park a story worthy of cheers

Dulce 08-25-09 07:47 PM

:lol George Lopez wants a free shirt (off his facebook):

George Lopez
CONGRATS-FELICIDADES ... To Chula Vista and San Antonio ... Good Luck Foo's !!! anytime you want to send me a jersey feel free !!!

MichaelWi101 08-25-09 09:32 PM

Tonight's game against Chula Vista was great....of course it helps that SA won....outstanding....

lscarlett 08-25-09 09:36 PM

We are watching them also. The coach of San Antonio is doing a great job with the kids--letting them make the decision about what to do. Here's to hoping they go all the way to the championship game (and of course win it.)

esparzar1 08-26-09 05:01 AM

I was watching it also.......It's always nice to beat a team from Cal :D

Joe Tango from San Diego 08-27-09 12:45 AM

Hi guys, sorry for my delayed congratulations to the McAllister Park
Team in beating my hometown Chula Vista yesterday. You guys brought
The lumber against the Californians!
And major props for beating new york tonight to advance to the US
Championship! With any luck, Chula Vista gets by a tough georgia
Team Thursday for another match for the world series with you guys!
Go Chula Vista Blue Bombers of the West! Beat georgia!

Joe Tango from San Diego 08-29-09 06:08 PM

We all are Spurs fans during the NBA season, but today, I cheer for my hometown kids of Chula Vista CA. Good Luck to San Antonio. This has been the most enjoyable Little League World Series I have seen in a long time...

Whoever comes out of this will represent the United States very well....

Go Chula Vista! and Go McAllister Park!

Dasher 08-31-09 11:45 PM

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:applause


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