Before the Little League World Series championship game started, the Louisiana coaches got together for a meeting. They decided that no matter what happened the next day, they were going to have fun. “Win or lose, we were going to celebrate these guys,” said manager Scott Frazier.
On Sunday, August 28, the team really got to celebrate, after beating Curacao 8–0 to become the first team from Louisiana to win the LLWS. The stands were jam-packed, and the teams were both dreaming to play in this game. The second after the last out was made, the kids, who play for Eastbank Little League in River Ridge, Louisiana, converged in a dogpile on the field. Frazier was still in shock. “I know it is remarkable what these boys have done,” he said, “but at this time I’m not processing what we’ve accomplished.”
Mike Mussina, a 2019 Hall of Fame inductee, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Louisiana team, which had never made it to the LLWS, represented the Southwest region and the Curacao team represented the Carribean region.
This Cinderella team from Louisiana lost their first game at the LLWS against Hawaii (5–2) before battling back to win the next five in a row, to clinch the U.S. title before playing the world championship game. The River Ridge team beat squads from Oregon, Minnesota, New Jersey, Virginia, and Hawaii. Louisiana continued to show its confidence throughout the tournament as it grew stronger with every win.
The Louisiana batters jumped on Curacao’s pitcher, Keven Rosina, in the first inning and took a 1–0 lead. Louisiana then scored twice in the top of the third, making it 3–0. One of those RBIs came from Reece Roussel. A day earlier, Roussel broke the all-time hit record in LLWS history with his 15th. He would finish the tournament with 17 hits and a .739 average. “I knew it was just another hit and I was happy,” he says. “But I knew that I did what I had to do for my team.” Louisiana added four runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Egan Prather, who pithced a complete game shutout, was a crucial piece for the Louisiana team’s success throughout the tournament. His biggest moment came when he got Curacao’s Curley Martha to ground out with the bases loaded in the third for the second out. Prather finished with six strikeouts and gave up just two hits.
“Everything is just surreal,” said Frazier after the game. “I’m not able to process what we have done at this point and I don’t know how long it will take to process this.”
Even though the team from Curacao lost, they also made history throughout their two weeks at the LLWS. They were the first team ever to beat both South Korea (5–3) and Japan (5–4) in the same LLWS. Martha said that his team had “a lot” of celebrations and they went to “sleep late” after their international shampionship win. Martha’s mom said that he wants to “come play in the MLB.”
The LLWS was anything but boring as there were upsets, nail biting games, and incredible victories. Louisiana now stands alone after making its way through the 7,700 teams worldwide vying for the title.