Of course I thought Chicago would make it, but because of their proven hitting, not just because they're the regional fav. But I expected Pennsylvania to advance UNTIL they started getting all the media attention. That's just too much pressure for a 12-13 yr old kid, SI cover curse notwithstanding. Pitchers already have a big load, and the added pressure got to 'em, as I think it did Nevada.<quoted text>
I've been watching them whipper-snappers since the regionals, picked the 2 teams that eventually made it into the US finals. Thought Nevada's pitching would beat Chicago's hitting.... thought wrong. Hopefully Korea is out of pitchers, and we get a good old fashioned slug-fest.
Did you notice the crumbling start in the 5th inning? I mean, they had the lead. If you've ever played or coached youth ball, you surely got that Uh-Oh feeling after that kid walked his first batter. He had just struck out the previous batter, but after one walk he was obviously stressing out about it. The other kids pick up on it, which you could also see on the second baseman's face, and it's a down-hill train that's hard to stop.
I'm sure it hurts, but I hope the coach makes them realize that they made it one step below the top of an enormous pyramid, comprised of thousands of players in leagues across the nation. It's a heck of an accomplishment, and I hope they all use this as a leaping off point for a good life.
Great series, great game.