Loading...
BYH: To the writer who wants to focus on real world issues. BYH is a column for giving thanks, or venting ideas. It is...

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
Loading…

BY RONNIE WOODWARD
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.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

Sports

November 11, 2019

SMU quarterback Shane Buechele had options on the final offensive play Saturday to finish off a 59-51 win against East Carolina.

It was fourth-and-3 with 55 seconds remaining at the Pirate 39-yard line. ECU had already taken its final timeout, and SMU then called a timeout after shifting to a pooch…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 11, 2019

Let's expand this exercise, for one week, to include South Carolina. The Battle for The Carolinas.

Clemson, obviously, would be No. 1. South Carolina would be fourth thanks to its win over Georgia.

No. 2? Appalachian State, which would own road victories over No. 3 North Carolina and fourth-ranked…

Louisiana-Monroe No. 24 Appalachian State Football

November 11, 2019

DALLAS

Tucked in a super clean and sometimes sleepy nook in Dallas is the campus at SMU, a private school that has stirred to life this fall behind a nationally ranked football team that provides excitement for its tidy, polite fan base with a fun-to-watch, prolific offense and an outside-the-box…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 09, 2019

After suffering a one-point loss at home last year to South Central on senior night, D.H. Conley returned the favor Friday night, blasting the Falcons 41-6 at South Central High School for its eighth straight victory and securing the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference title.

The 38-degree air…

101919_gdr_dhcfootball-4.jpg

November 09, 2019

DALLAS — East Carolina competed for four quarters against a ranked team for the second straight week, yet a similar feeling and still winless this season in the American Athletic Conference after a 59-51 defeat to No. 23 SMU.

Here are three answers from the game:

1. How many passing…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 09, 2019

FAYETTEVILLE — It was a rough ending to what had been a historic season for the Ayden-Grifton volleyball team Saturday night, as the Chargers fell to West region champion Foard, 3-0 (25-15, 25-12 and 25-10).

“We just weren’t there tonight. It wasn’t our game,” Chargers…

111019-AG Volleyball

November 09, 2019

DALLAS — Tyler Snead, all 5-foot-7 and 167 pounds of him, chased and nearly grabbed NCAA history Saturday afternoon at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in East Carolina football's 59-51 loss at SMU.

Snead’s 19 receptions were four shy of tying the single-game national record and three away from…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 09, 2019

DALLAS — SMU continued its banner football season, giving some of its longtime fans more memories of the 1980s with an offense that produced droves of points and yards again at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

East Carolina was great on offense Saturday as well, gaining more yards than its nationally-…

E Carolina SMU Football

November 09, 2019

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its finalized brackets for its postseason football playoffs Saturday afternoon. Four teams, Ayden-Grifton, South Central, J.H. Rose and D.H. Conley will all begin preparations for their first round games Friday. Meanwhile North Pitt,…

110919-AG FB

November 09, 2019

It wasn't perfect, but another strong night of defense and a heavy ground attack propelled Ayden-Grifton to a senior night win over rival Kinston Friday night, 27-14.

While also sending out the Chargers (8-2, 4-2) seniors on a high note the game was revenge against the Vikings, who eliminated A-G…

110919-Michael Webb
433 stories in Sports. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 44
        Next Page»   Last Page»