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Needville gets well-deserved day off to prepare for US Championship Game on Saturday

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WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania (KTRK) — It’s back to work for the Needville Little League All-Stars. Fresh off their incredible extra-inning victory. The team went right back to the batting cages Thursday.

The boys were all smiles. And why not? They’ve got plenty of time to sit back and enjoy themselves before their next game on Saturday, which happens to be the U.S. Championship Game.

Over the next few days, they will practice and prepare for the biggest game of their lives.

Needville won Wednesday’s game in dramatic fashion, scoring one run in the 9th inning and then hanging on to win thanks to an impressive defensive effort that kept Seattle from scoring and sending Needville to the U.S. Championship Game.

On Thursday, the boys were walking on air, happy, energetic, and ready to take care of business.

They are getting so much attention in Williamsport and back home, which can be overwhelming.

Keeping them grounded is a job for the manager and coaches. These dads make sure the boys are still focusing on the next step. It sounds like a tough job, but they say the big lights have not changed the players.

“They are the same kids. They really are. They have done a good job of kind of blocking out the interviews and requests, and when we walk down here, there are girls that want pictures with them, and there are little kids that want stuff, and that is all really cool,” manager Andy McRae told ABC13. “When the game starts, they have done a really good job of blocking that out and just being the kids they are, and when we are back in the dorm, it’s been a neat experience for them.”

We don’t know who Needville will play on Saturday. The game to determine that will be on Thursday between El Segundo, California, and Seattle, Washington – both of which are teams that Texas defeated already.

The California-Washington game airs on ABC13’s sister network ESPN at 6 p.m. CT.

Needville has already beaten both those teams, and because it is in the winner’s bracket, they get to rest their pitchers. At this stage of the tournament, a well-rested pitching staff can be the difference in winning or losing.

Needville is 4-0 so far. One more win, and they play for the right to be called the best team in the world.

For more on this story, follow Jeff Ehling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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