WILLIAMSPORT, Penn. (WPRI) — Smithfield’s historic run in the Little League World Series came to a heartbreaking end Tuesday night.
The Smithfield All-Stars, winners of the Metro Region, were eliminated by the West Region champions of El Segundo, California. The team’s 9-3 loss ended their fairy-tale season.
The team was riding high after their 7-2 win on Sunday against the Mid-Atlantic Region team from Media, Pennsylvania. That win breathed new life into the team following their loss last week to the Southeast Region team from Nolensville, Tennessee.
But it wasn’t enough to propel the boys out of the elimination bracket.
Despite the loss, the team has plenty to be proud of. This was the first time in 72 years that Smithfield made it to the Little League World Series, and the ninth Rhode Island team since 2001 to take the field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The tight-knit town of Smithfield rallied around the boys throughout the whole tournament, hosting watch parties and raising money for the team’s travel expenses. Those who watched the game at The Trap North Tuesday night said they’re proud of everything the team has accomplished.
(Story continues below video.)
“They had a long road. They’ve been here for a while. They’ve done a great job, they’ve worked so hard but also they’re ready to be home. I think they’ve proved more than enough to everybody,” parent Giselle Aglione said. “They’re a great group, they’ve worked so hard they deserve everything.”
Shanyn Turner, acting president of the Smithfield Little League, tells 12 News the team has faced plenty of adversity throughout the tournament.
“They look so big on TV, but when we were in Williamsport this weekend, we were reminded of just how little they are,” Turner said. “These are 12-year-old boys. This is hard. This is a lot of pressure.”
Turner said the boys should be proud of their accomplishments regardless of the outcome.
“I don’t think they know the fame they have at home,” she said. “In the 72 years of our league, nobody from Smithfield has ever made it onto this field.”