SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Penn. — Despite a loss at the Little League World Series on Sunday, the Hamilton West Side baseball team still became the first Little League team in the Buckeye state to make it to the championship game.
The Hamilton West Side boys fell 5-2 to Michigan.
For the team, the experience and history of the event is not lost on them, despite not bringing home the win.
"The first time stepping on that field was like so cool," said Krew Brown, center fielder for the Hamilton West Side team. "Never had done anything in my life quite like this."
Krew and the rest of the team were able to meet Major League Baseball all-stars like Mike Trout and Shohei Otani of the Los Angeles Angels during the experience.
"Every time we talked to him he was hanging out, playing ping pong," said Nick Brown, Krew's father. "Hanging out with MLB players."
During the three-week tournament, the team had to quarantine in a bubble to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. After the championship game ended, it not only meant cause to celebrate all the team achieved, but also a reunion between the 12-year-olds and their families.
"To hold him and kiss him, squeeze his face, was awesome," said Shannon Brown, Krew's mother.
Friends, family and fans at home cheered on the team from Municipal Brew Works in Hamilton. The crowd at the brewery was large, with every member glued to the television screens.
"These kids are role models," said Melissa Sauceda, a fan at the brewery. "Not everybody gets to go to the World Series and this is a once-in-a-lifetime dream for any kid."
Although the game didn't end the way the team or fans hoped, folks gathered to cheer on the team said it's still inspiring they made it to the championship game. Plans are being made to honor the team when they return home, but nothing has been set in stone yet.
Hamilton West Side defeated South Dakota Saturday to advance to the finals. Hamilton (West Side) has been to the Little League World Series four times prior to this year, but has never won more than one game in South Williamsport, Penn.