Aug 18, 2013
06:24 AMThe Connecticut Story
Westport Advances to Winners Bracket Final in Little League World Series
Mary Albl/New Haven Register
Westport'e Charlie Roof slides safely into home plate in the top of the second inning against Eastlake on Sunday in the Little League World Series.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Westport’s Alex Reiner matter-of-factly untucked his jersey as he walked off the field late Sunday afternoon. He had just struck out an Eastlake batter that represented the go-ahead run on a full count, and made it seem like business as usual in a 9-7 victory at the Little League World Series in front of more than 20,000 fans at Lamade Stadium.
It was an ending that seemed fitting to a game that went from blowout to nail-biter.Westport survived a late-game rally from a gritty Eastlake (Sammamish, Wash.) squad to advance to Wednesday’s winner’s bracket final at 8 p.m. (ESPN). Westport will face Chula Vista, Calif., which beat Newark, Del. 15-3. The winner of that game earns a spot in the United States final.
“I just came in and tried to throw strikes,” Reiner said.
Also see the story below about Westport's experience this year burnishing the tradition of Little League family ties:
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. —As a Little League team from Westport, Conn., gets ready to play Northwest Regional champion Eastlake of Sammamish, Wash., today at 2 p.m. (ABC), the traditions playing on around the diamond extend beyond baseball into the richness of community and families:
Ben Rogers hasn’t missed a game this summer.
He’s been to countless baseball fields watching his younger brother, Drew, and the Westport Little League team make an incredible journey that has led them to the Little League World Series.
Last Thursday he turned 16 and spent the day at Lamade Stadium watching Drew and Westport defeat South Nashville 3-2.
And Ben’s dad, Tim, is the head coach.
“He’s got to get a ‘W’ today for my birthday present,” said Ben before the game.
Ben’s situation is not unique. There are a handful of Westport siblings who have grown up together playing baseball. And now they’re getting a chance to watch their younger brothers in the Little League World Series.
“It’s so weird to see them on SportsCenter’s Top 10,” said Nick Drbal, who will be a senior at Staples and is the brother of first baseman Chris Drbal. “It was just after Bryce Harper and then they came on.”
Zack Azadian, who is 15 and plays for Staples, said one of his favorite memories growing up was playing catch in the backyard with his brother, Harry, who pitches for Westport.
Both Zack and Topher Brown (brothers of Matt Brown) played in the Cal Ripken World Series three years ago for the Norwalk squad. Zach said Harry and Matt were there watching and supporting.