OMAHA, NE - Following a 7-2 loss Saturday night to Chula Vista, California, the Washington Nationals were been eliminated from the Little League World Series.
“It’s just a shame. These kids worked so hard,” said Nationals’ manager Jim Riggleman. “But I think they realize how privileged they were just to get this far.”
Before the tournament started the Nationals were considered a huge long shot. In the eastern regional’s they beat out an injury riddled Toms River team with a series of wacky plays and blind faith.
During the semi-finals it took a check swing by Christian Guzman in the bottom of the 6th inning to put away Georgia. But no matter how bleak it seemed, they always came to play.
“Those kids really made us proud out there,” said Loretta Zimmerman, mother of Ryan Zimmerman, and one of six parents have made the journey to Omaha. “We may not be the biggest crowd, but we try to be the loudest … and we're definitely the drunkest.”
So while they may not live the dream of playing for the championship game, they feel like they’ve already one.
“Just making it this far is something I’ll never forget,” said left fielder Adam Dunn, who led the series in both home runs and strikeouts. “I mean, realistically, most of will probably never make varsity. So this was our Super Bowl.”