One step closer: Greencastle Little League advances to Pennsylvania state tournament
Greencastle Little League is one step closer to Williamsport.
The team defeated East Side Little League on Monday to win PA Section 7 Championship. Greencastle now advances to the eight team, double-elimination state tournament, where the winner will represent Pennsylvania in the regional tournament.
This year, the top two teams in the region would make it to the Little League World Series in Williamsport.
Manager Casey Brookens knows that he has a talented group of 10-12 year olds.
“The boys are playing great,” Brookens said. “One of the characteristics of this team is they're just a close knit group. They stay loose, but then they're able to flip the switch when they get on the field, and this team can play.”
The team had to flip a switch in its last game against East Side, as it trailed 3-1 going into the fifth inning.
Greencastle fought back in the final two innings, eventually pulling away for a 7-3 win.
“We just don't panic,” Brookens said. “We know that eventually we're going to hit, and that’s just what we think about. We don't panic, we just stay relaxed but they know when it's go time, and we just have a lot of confidence in them.”
Greencastle is 10-0 through the district and section tournaments, and now heads to Conyngham for the state tournament, which begins on July 24
“I always have confidence,” Brookens said. “I've seen these kids play for the last four years, and they just continue to get better. We had some good teams in our district, we played a couple of good teams in sectionals. So it was definitely an earned way to get there.”
There’s still a long path between now and the Little League World Series, but that hasn’t stopped the team from making that its goal.
The World Series is also going with U.S. only teams this year, so a second team from the region will go, making the goal a little more in reach.
But Brookens wants his team to just embrace the journey.
“One of the things we always talk about is to enjoy the moment,” Brookens said. “A lot of teams are not as fortunate as us to be able to be where we are. So we always tell them to enjoy the moment, but to also keep their goal in mind.”
“Their goal from the get go is to get to the World Series. That's a very bold goal, knowing all the competition and the good players out there, but they keep that in mind, stay loose, stay focused, and enjoy the moment.”