CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI) — Legendary Rhode Island Little League Coach David Belisle is weighing in on Barrington’s advancement to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Belisle coached two Cumberland American Little League teams to the Little League World Series in 2011 and 2014.
He tells Eyewitness News he was excited to see another Rhode Island team make it to the World Series.
“They certainly have a good chance to win a game,” Belisle said. “By winning a game, you move forward and anything can happen.”
Belisle is well known for his inspirational speech made after his 2014 team wrapped up their season in Williamsport.
Belisle said his best advice to the little leaguers: Take it all in.
“Living in the moment is what these boys are going to do,” he said. “Constantly autographs, they are signing autographs like they are major leaguers.”
One week a year, Belisle is a contributor to ESPN and said he has been following Barrington since the start.
He said the team plays excellent defense.
“Their infield defense, their outfield defense, that is what has really got them here. They get those base hits and move people around,” he said.
It will not be easy to go all the way, but Belisle said he wants the kids to remember to have fun no matter the outcome.
“The experience they are going to take back, I don’t even think they are going to remember the games that they played,” he said. “They are just going to remember the environment and the social aspect of it.”
What about the allegations of cheating?
The team’s time in Williamsport so far has been mulled with controversy following cheating allegations from the Goffstown Little League coach.
In a recent article in the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Goffstown coach was quoted in the paper, alleging the Rhode Island team was stealing signs at the New England Regional title game on Saturday in Bristol, Connecticut.
The Barrington Little League coaches are defending their team saying the allegations against them are false. The Little League International Tournament Committee said they consider the issue closed.
Belisle said he reviewed the tape and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
He also told Eyewitness News the umpire did give Barrington a warning as a precaution.