Sioux Falls Little League is preparing to make its debut at the Little League World Series on Friday.
Sioux Falls earned its spot at the Little League World Series with a win over Missouri on Saturday.
The team’s journey to Williamsport began with a win over Brandon Valley in the sub-district tournament, before running the table at the North Dakota/South Dakota district tournament. Sioux Falls continued its dominance at the Midwest Regional, finishing 4-0 to advance to the World Series.
“I was just talking to some people because I know nothing about these teams. Zero, zilch and they said, ‘We would probably rank you number three or four out here,’ and that says a lot,” team manager Jeff Riley said.
Sioux Falls opened the Midwest Regional with wins over Kansas and Minnesota, but found itself trailing Missouri 5-1 headed into the final inning.
“We do play one pitch at a time, one play at a time, and I tell my kids, ‘If we keep that grounded, we’re going to be there at the end of the game for a potential win,’ and so when we’re done 5-1 in that game, I go, ‘Guys, we’re leaving ton of guys on bases, we’re ok,’ and when that first guy got on I was like, we’re good,” Riley said.
Sioux Falls then beat Missouri once more, this time, 6-0 to earn the title of Midwest Regional champion.
Now, the team is just days away from playing in the town coined “the birthplace of little league baseball”.
“We play good defense, we pitch well, so as long as we can hit the fast ball that they’re going to be throwing to us we’re going to be good and I have a feeling we’ll be ready,” Riley said.
Sioux Falls will open tournament play against Greenville, North Carolina on Friday, with the first pitch set for 7:00. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.