Sioux Falls, SD
Whether they win or lose, this is a historic year for Little League baseball in Sioux Falls.
There could be more thrills on the way for Sioux Falls' boys of summer. If they win tomorrow morning in Indianapolis against Webb City, Missouri, they're going to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
"When they came back and won that game in the sixth, we were all gathered around my cell phone watching," Gateway Lounge manager Jackson Rentschler said. "And now tomorrow we'll be able to put it on all the TVs and have it in surround sound."
Tomorrow morning the Gateway Lounge in Sioux Falls will open early to air the game on larger screens. From Indiana, the team's coach is full of praise for the boys.
"It's extremely gratifying to be their coach because these kids are so well-mannered, they're well-liked, they get along with each other, they make my job really easy, and they play with attitude and effort every single day," coach Jeff Riley said.
He says his players aren't letting their nerves get the best of them.
"The kids are probably getting a little bit nervous, I mean they know what lies in front of them, but they're pretty grounded, I mean they understand the approach, and they're not too worked up about the moment," Riley said.
Usually the boys practiced at Kuehn Park in west Sioux Falls. Recently, they visited another field that's a little bit more famous. On their way to Indiana, they stopped where the movie Field of Dreams was filmed, and recorded this. Their dream road to the Little League World Series could end Saturday. But the dream they're living right now isn't about who comes out on top at the end of six innings.
"We've been preaching this whole time to the kids that it's about your experience, it's not about the wins and losses, because the experience they've already gained, they're going to have for a lifetime right now," Riley said.
As for Rentschler, he's confident that tomorrow isn't the end of the road for the team.
"They're going to win," he said. "We're going to see them play in Williamsport. Which is unbelievable."
Saturday's first pitch will be at 10:00 a.m. central time. If the boys win and advance to the Little League World Series, they will play one week from today.
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