The 10-U Livingston National Williamsport Little League team is just one win away from the sectional crown. On Saturday night, they’ll play for the title – and the chance to move on to the state championships.
The team already won the New Jersey District 8 Title last weekend – the first in seven years – by going undefeated in the Little League Tournament 5-0.
The coaches say they’ll not surprised the team is making a run. “The dads all bought into it and they really work hard with their kids. Every kid on the team has a father that spends a lot of time with them," said head coach Brian Drapeau.
The team is currently competing for the New Jersey Section 2 Little League Title in Hasbrouck Heights.
On Tuesday, July 12, the Nationals traveled to play their first game of the tournament against a tough Hoboken All-Star Little League team. The Nationals jumped out to an early 11-1 lead at the top of the 4th inning courtesy of timely hitting and home runs from Kacey Chambers and Chris Senney.
Hoboken made a comeback bid scoring four runs to make it 11-5, but strong pitching performances by Kacey Chambers, Austin Chambers, Chris Senney and Brian Kelly held them from scoring any more runs. Livingston scored one more time to seal a 12-5 victory with the game ending close to 11 p.m.
On Wednesday, July 13, the Livingston Nationals returned to Hasbrouck Heights to face a tough Rutherford American team. Again, the Nationals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead but Rutherford fought back to make the game interesting. In the end, Livingston came out on top, winning by the score of 6-5.
The team will now play in the Sectional Championship game on Saturday night, July 16, at 7 p.m. in Hasbrouck Heights. If they win, they will move on to play in the State Tournament in Howell on Thursday, July 21. A win there will propel the team into competition against the very best teams outside New Jersey in the Eastern Regionals.
"What really separates this team from last year’s team is we saw this coming," said Drapeau. "I was talking to fellow coaches Joe Cullen and Brian Kelly and I said our sons and this group, if we get 11 or 12 good kids, then they can make a good run when they're eligible to play in the districts."
Drapeau also credited his coaching staff for helping keep the team on-track, Joe Cullen, Rich Demaio, Gary Schechter, and Brian Kelley. "They tend to echo me a lot on the field, we're all on the same page." said Drapeau.
The Livingston Nationals are one win away from the Sectional Title and a State Tournament bid, we wish them luck and if you want to see really well played Little League baseball then head on out to the field and root, root, root for the home team.