Bless our hearts as Edmund Burke quoted: The only thing necessary for the triump of evil is for good men(and women) to...

Dancing with Dugout comes easy

Gville vs MW-10.jpg
1 of 4

North State's Drew Fields does "the worm" as Little League World Series mascot, Dugout, looks on just minutes before Friday's game against Sioux Falls, S.D.

Gville vs MW-14.jpg
Gville vs MW-11.jpg
Gville vs MW T3i-1.jpg

The Daily Reflector

Sunday, August 20, 2017

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — This was no regular middle school dance.

There were no girls, but instead 13 Greenville North State boys and 14 from Sioux Falls, S.D., trying to keep up with a big fuzzy mascot named Dugout front and center at Lamade Stadium with nearly 10,000 people watching.

This is one of the few things that can hold up a Little League World Series game. Because of the all-out dance party Friday night, North State’s opening game of the event, which is aimed at a mix of fun of baseball, started at 8:15 p.m. instead of the scheduled 8 o’clock time.

“I want to go out there and play, but before the game it’s about having fun and that’s what this tournament is all about,” said North State’s Drew Fields, who seized the momentum when he did “the worm” with Dugout.

With some urging from the mascot, the head coaches for both teams joined the dancing a few minutes later.

It’s hard to predict what might happen when this many 11-,12- and 13-year-old kids from all over the world come together for a sporting event.

The transition of the joy from Friday’s game, which saw pitchers Chase Anderson, Matthew Matthijs and Carson Hardee make history with a combined perfect game, to a relaxed day off Saturday began with North State checking out the minor league stadium in Williamsport where the first-ever Major League Baseball Little League Showcase game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals will be held Sunday night. Coach Brian Fields then gave the players the afternoon off to spend time with their families.

Greenville is representing the U.S. Southeast region and faces the West representative from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., in the second round Sunday at 2 p.m. North State will come into the contest after producing 10 strikeouts with no walks Friday against Sioux Falls.

“Little League is a funny game, but when you look at it and you have no walks, you are going to win a lot of games,” coach Brian Fields said.

Matthijs and Anderson were each pulled Friday against South Dakota after reaching the 35-pitch limit that is accompanied by a mandated one day’s rest, so North State will have its full pitching staff available against the California squad that beat Walla Walla, Wash., 9-0 in its first game.

Greenville’s opening win was defined by dominant pitching and it featured a neat showdown of 6-footers during the fourth inning. South Dakota’s Marcus Phillips took a huge swing at a Matthijs fastball that was 76 miles per hour and after missing, Phillips’ momentum kept going and he spun to the ground.

The display of both kids trying to overpower the other was followed by ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from some of the crowd of 9,923.

Matthijs struck out Phillips two pitches later to complete his three-strikeout inning. It was part of a big momentum boost that had the Greenville fans proud and on their feet.

“It’s great and it’s crazy to see how many people drove up here to support us and watch us play,” Matthijs said.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


July 18, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — In the lead spot to start at quarterback for American Athletic Conference preseason favorite UCF is senior Notre Dame transfer Brandon Winbush.

Veteran QBs at Memphis (Brady White) and South Florida (Blake Barnett) both were at Arizona State earlier in their careers. Barnett,…


July 18, 2019


East Carolina was picked fifth in the American Athletic Conference football East Division for the second straight year in the league preseason poll, but more important than the poll’s release Tuesday during AAC media days was the confident and persistent presence of ECU…


July 17, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Coach Mike Houston remains optimistic yet not in position to announce whether or not Traveon Freshwater will be on East Carolina football’s roster for this season.

The former Elizabeth City Northeastern High School star running back and linebacker signed with ECU in…


July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Mike Houston has been in this position before, bracing to prove doubters wrong.

It began with his first head coaching job in 2001 at T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, when his team was picked in the preseason eighth out of nine teams but thrived during the season to take…

IMG_2422 (1).jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Standing in front of American Athletic Conference “Power Six” logos on Tuesday, conference commissioner Mike Aresco was persistent that he thinks the American is strong enough to not immediately replace Connecticut when the Huskies leave for the Big East.


IMG_2415 (1).jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert found time to put on a swimsuit by mid-afternoon Monday, and ECU football coach Mike Houston sneaked in advice to Pirate receiver Deondre Farrier on the proper cracker-to-oyster ratio when Houston was between interviews at American…

IMG_2404 2 6.18.29 PM.jpg

July 15, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — East Carolina is at American Athletic Conference football media days, equipped with first-year coach Mike Houston, first-year athletics director Jon Gilbert and senior receiver Deondre Farrier in his first visit to Newport.

Aside from veteran media relations director Tom…

IMG_2388 2 (1).jpg

July 15, 2019

A trio of first-year American Athletic Conference football coaches, including East Carolina's Mike Houston, heads to Newport, R.I., today for a first taste of seafood, interviews and more at AAC media days.

The other two newcomers are Temple's Rod Carey and Dana Holgorsen after his offseason…


July 14, 2019

The Minges Coliseum court is in under renovation as East Carolina’s basketball coaches also are working to reconstruct their teams that will play this year on a new-look Minges paint scheme.

Fresh from checking out a recent workout of men’s coach Joe Dooley’s squad, which this…


July 13, 2019

Many East Carolina football fans know what Holton Ahlers will be doing in August and the ensuing months as the Pirates’ sophomore projected starting quarterback.

Others fans might have noticed the Greenville native was an ardent ECU baseball fan in June, but in July, he and other Pirate…

320 stories in Sports. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 32
        Next Page»   Last Page»