The Pacific Little League All-Stars’ magical postseason ride came to an end Monday afternoon against a resilient Texas team.
Less than 24 hours after losing in the bottom of the sixth to Pennsylvania, the Pearland East team from Texas rebounded to defeat Pacific 11-4 in a Little League World Series elimination game at Lamade Stadium in Williamsport, Penn.
Texas remained in contention for the title, while Pacific’s season is over.
“It was a great run,” Pacific manager Robley Corsi Jr. said. “(The players) weren’t shaking their heads. It was like, ‘it’s baseball.’ Again, this is how it rolls.”
Corsi Jr. told his players to keep their heads up.
“Now it’s time to go have some fun,” Corsi Jr. said during a telephone interview.
As he was speaking, Corsi noted that almost all of the players were playing ping pong and he planned to join them later.
All the players and some of their parents will be staying for the rest of the tournament and attending the championship game on Sunday.
“We’ll go on and root for some teams,” Corsi Jr. said.
The team then will fly back home on Monday.
“It’s been incredible. It’s been great,” Corsi Jr. said of the team’s time at the Little League World Series. “It’s been absolutely fabulous.”
Corsi Jr. admits he wishes the team was playing another game. But he and his players will look back on their time in Williamsport with a smile.
“The whole experience has been absolutely wonderful for myself and the kids,” Corsi Jr. said. “It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Friends and family from across the land have texted Corsi Jr. through the tournament and his players now have hundreds of new followers on their Twitter accounts because of the team’s postseason success.
In its final game, Pacific fell behind early as Texas scored a run in the top of the first and then extended the lead to 4-0 on a 3-run homer by Layne Robleyer in the third inning. Another run in the fourth meant that Pacific trailed 5-0 heading into the bottom of the inning.
Pacific’s offense finally got rolling as Colton Walsh doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a double by Tyler Durbin, who advanced to third on a passed ball. Tygan Duncan followed with a single to drive in Durbin.
Mason Vaughn came in to run for Duncan and advanced to second on a passed ball and then scored on a double by Karsen Tjarneberg as Pacific cut the deficit to 5-3.
Texas scored a run in the fifth to take a 6-3 advantage and Pacific responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to again cut the deficit to two runs, 6-4.
Nate King drew a one-out walk and was replaced by Vaughn at first base. Walsh singled and then Durbin followed with a single to score Vaughn from second base. The scoring threat ended when Texas pulled off a rare double play.
Pacific’s control problems surfaced in the top of the sixth when five walks led to five insurance runs that extended Texas’ lead to 11-4. Five Pacific pitchers combined to issue nine walks, hit two batters and throw a number of wild pitches.
“That was the difference in the game,” Corsi Jr. said. “You had to smile. It was not our day. There is not much you can do.”
The players will enjoy their remaining time in Williamsport.
“They love it here,” Corsi Jr. said. “They’re on their own. They’re hanging out and having fun.”
– By David Pan