According to the Bible, every man, woman and child is supposed to take Sunday as a day of rest.
Now, I’m no Bible-thumper by any means, but I took that to mean I was entitled to — at least part of — a day in South Williamsport to myself.
I slept-in, drank some coffee, took my time getting ready, I even snacked on kettle corn and funnel cake. It’s Sunday, no day for a diet.
Don’t get me wrong. I still wrote two stories and went over to Lamade and Volunteer for parts of three games, including Texas’ 13-3 white-washing of Indiana.
Because of that result, we now know Fairfield will play the Great Lakes champion Monday at 8 p.m. in an elimination game at Lamade on ESPN2. Expect first pitch to be about 8:07.
Remember, we’ll be live-blogging the contest, starting at 7:45 Monday. Hope you’ll all hop on and join us.
If Fairfield wins, it’ll play the winner of Petaluma, Calif. and Parsippany, N.J. Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Lamade. If it loses, it is done and will, likely, go home on Tuesday.
I think if Fairfield can find a way to win Monday, it can win the U.S. bracket.
American is a little short on pitching for Monday. Only Will Lucas, Matt Kubel and Michael Ghiorzi — who hasn’t pitched all summer — are available. Fairfield’s not been this short on pitching in weeks; if at all this summer.
But if Fairfield can win, it’ll have Ryan Meury and Matt Kubel available Tuesday against Petaluma or Parsippany. Meury had a below average start, for him, and was bit by a couple of unexecuted defensive plays.
And Fairfield still nearly beat Petaluma. I know American’s looking for California again and thinks the result will be different if they play.
The U.S. side of the bracket — except perhaps Texas — seems wide open, and I think Fairfield belongs here as much as any other squad.
I’m kind of getting the vibe Fairfield will win too Monday.
In my preview, I forgot to bring up the potential for bad weather on Monday.
As it stands now, there appears to be a 40 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms for South Williamsport for tomorrow.
I think Fairfield and Indiana will play, but there are five games that need to be completed tomorrow — lousy consolation games.
The weather here has been impeccable; a real shock for this time of the year. It’s only rained once since games started Thursday, and only one game has even been delayed so far, let alone postponed.
It’s only a matter of time until all that changes.
But I guess we’ll all cross that bridge when we come to it. I’ll keep everyone up to date on Twitter as the day goes by.
The game of the tournament thus far was played tonight.
Japan and Chinese-Taipei played 8 1/2 scoreless innings. I watched the 6-8 innings from the hill at Lamade, and the level of play was incredible.
Hajime Motegi’s ninth-inning, walk-off homer proved the difference in Japan’s 2-0 win. It was fitting that Japan won, considering it had chances to score in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
I left the game early though, deciding to watch the game on ESPN2 in the hotel. I had atrocious allergies and spent most of the day sneezing. The folks who saw me can attest to that.
I think these teams will play again, likely in the International final Saturday. If they do, we’re all in luck.
The coolest thing about the Little League World Series is how it personifies what sports are supposed to be.
The World Series is uber-fan friendly. If you park at the complex, you can do so for free. Food prices are relatively low, it’s like a carnival atmosphere, with baseball games played — seemingly — endlessly from Thursday through Tuesday.
Professional sports have been bombarded with fanaticism and commercialism. Fans are biased in their support or condemnation of their favorite pro athletes. College athletics have a tendency, especially in the south and midwest, to have the same problem.
The Jets vs. Giants game Saturday night reportedly had $50 parking for a preseason game. Tickets for that contest were full price too.
Don’t get me wrong, I love pro sports. College sports atmospheres are great as well. But there’s just something so awesome about watching a baseball game at an old stadium with an old grandstand where fans cheer good plays for both sides.
Consider that there are at least 7,000 fans for every game and very few have a biased tie to the team they are watching. They’re cheering for good defense, stellar pitching, home runs and overall exciting play.
Vanderbilt University baseball coach Tim Corbin told ESPN’s Jenn Brown that he thought Williamsport was like the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. If that’s true, I’ve got to get out to Omaha.
The other interesting aspect of the World Series is, what I like to call, the “Middle School Dance” effect.
Hundreds, nay, thousands of adolescents are around Lamade and Volunteer at all times. They meet and branch off in cliques. Boys and girls awkwardly meet in groups and punch each others arms and run away.
It’s funny to watch.
I do also love watching families who come out to Williamsport for vacation. Dads and moms and their sons or daughters. They buy hats and t-shirts and food and just have a nice, fun, exciting day at the ballpark.
Fan-friendliness lends itself to that.
I’d like to thank everyone who offered kind words about the Uganda story I did.
Uganda will get one more game Tuesday at 1 p.m. against Gresham, Ore. If you’ve not seen the Africans play, try to do so.
Among the other stories posted from this week are profiles on Biagio Paoletta and Kevin Oricoli, Sunday’s newsy feature about Williamsport’s “melting pot,” and a preview of Fairfield’s upcoming contest against New Castle, Ind.
I thank you all for reading the blogs and tweets and liking all the pictures on Instagram I’ve been posting. I’m trying to bring this event’s greatness back to Connecticut as best as I can.
If there’s something you’ve seen on ESPN or know about you feel I haven’t covered well enough. By all means let me know.
Pat Pickens is the sports editor of the Fairfield Citizen, a Hearst Connecticut Newspaper. Follow him on Twitter here.