2011 Little League Baseball World Series
Williamsport, Pennsylvania - August 18 - 28

Game 12: Mid-Atlantic 2 vs. New England 0

Mid-Atlantic Region Champions Shout Out, Oust Northeast Region Champs

Author: Alex Duke

Source: South Williamsport, Pa.

Date/Time: Saturday, August 20, 2011, 8:00pm ET

The crowds came in droves yet again. And this time, they left with something to cheer about.

A mere 24 hours after a disheartening opening-game loss, the Mid-Atlantic Region Champions avoided elimination with a 2-0 victory over the Northeast squad from Cumberland, R.I.

“Nothing beats that crowd’s roar when we take the field,” said Mid-Atlantic Manager Bill Garbrick. “It’s motivation.”

Mid-Atlantic started the game with three consecutive singles, immediately jumping out to a 1-0 lead. From there, they loaded the bases, fully intending to build an insurmountable first-inning lead.

Despite the pressure, Northeast maintained their resolve and the at-bat ended with no further damage.

“We could have easily folded after that nervous first,” said Northeast Manager David Belisle.

The Mid-Atlantic team did not add an insurance run until the bottom of the fifth after Wyatt Koch lined a two-out RBI single, his second hit of the night.

The Northeast Region Champions kept it as close as possible, but they failed to notch a run against Mid-Atlantic pitcher Alex Garbrick, who pitched a masterful game. Scattering three hits and fanning six, before turning the game over to closer Tyler McCloskey to record the final out by strikeout.

“I tried to relax, forget about the pressure and just pitch,” Garbrick said.

Following his team’s elimination, Belisle had nothing but encouraging words to say about his team’s accomplishments.

“Our boys had an amazing summer,” he said. “I know they’re crying right now, but they’ll wake up tomorrow and realize how great a journey this was.”

Perhaps his words of highest praise were left for the Mid-Atlantic squad — whom his team built a strong rapport with during the recent regional tournaments in Bristol, Conn.

“That’s a classy team. I really want them to win it,” he said. “And if they stay focused and use the energy of that wild crowd — well, I wouldn’t want to play them.”

Their next step towards fulfilling that dream will be Monday night when they face the loser of Sunday’s Northwest-Southwest loser.