The Little League World Series 2012 Northern California champions from Petaluma, CA have the eyes of the nation on them as they navigate their way through the most anticipated baseball event of the summer.
What’s more is that they actually have the talent to do some damage in the tournament.
The Petaluma National Little League (PNLL) team made it to the LLWS by winning the ultra-competetive Western Regional in San Bernardino, Calif. against a resilient team from Hawaii on Saturday, August 11, 2012. The champs from Northern California then won Game 1 of their journey through Williamsport against Fairfield American Little League, which represented the Northeast.
The road figures to get rougher as the competition stiffens. The double elimination portion of the competition will continue on Sunday, August 19, 2012 against Tennessee at 11 p.m. PT. Should they win that game, the team will get a couple days of rest and play Wednesday. A loss would require the team from the Bay Area to play on Monday.
This talented group is up for the challenge, though, and their chances rest heavily on the shoulders of star player Bradley Smith.
At 6-foot-3, Smith has literally stood head and shoulders above the competition. He’s proven to be an intimidating figure on the mound for his team and has all of the tools to carry California to the championship game. He struck out seven batters, went 4-for-4 with one home run, two doubles, and a single in a tightly-contested 6-4 victory over Connecticut on Thursday, August 16, 2012. Left-hander Andrew White was solid in mop-up duty as he withstood a late comeback attempt after inducing a double-play and recording a strikeout to end the game.
The competition has been fierce, but these boys are ready to handle any team in the tournament. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if they’re playing ball in the World Series Championship on August 26, 2012.
Michael C. Jones is the Editor of Sports Out West. For more insight, follow him on Twitter.
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