Little League champs return to Greenville Thursday for celebration
GREENVILLE, North Carolina - Greenville will welcome home North State Little League after the team captured the Southeast Regional tournament to make it to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
The team fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, but rallied to defeat the Peach Tree City squad from Georgia to win 8-6. The team is scheduled to return to Elm Street Park around 6 p.m. Thursday.
It is the first team from Greenville to make it to the LLWS since a team from the Tar Heel Little League made it in 1998. The team's first game in Williamsport will be Friday, Aug. 18 at 8 p.m.
North State was steadied after falling behind by a phenomenal performance from pitcher Matt Matthijs, who came on in relief of Chase Anderson in the first frame after his team had fallen behind. He pitched 5.2 innings, giving up three runs over that span and striking out 10.
Bryce Jackson helped get North State back in things in the second inning, slamming the team's only home run of the game as part of a five-run 2nd inning that got the lead back from Peach Tree City.
It was a back-and-forth affair until the bottom of the 4th, when North State added three more runs to break a 5-5 tie. They would hold on from there as Matthijs pitched a 1-2-3 final frame to earn the victory for the team.
Jackson led the way offensively with 3 RBI on the game, while Thomas Barrett and Carson Hardee had two each.
The team is made up of Cash Daniels-Moye, Ashtn Byars, Joseph Byrne, Will Casey, Cameron Greenway, Daniel Paciullo, Luke Lambert and Drew Fields, in addition to Matthijs, Hardee, Jackson, Anderson and Barrett. The team is managed by Brian Fields.