By Rob Tota
Rhode Island’s Coventry Little League ended its time at the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series campaign Monday morning, defeating Australia, 15-0, in a consolation matchup at Howard J. Lamade. It was the most runs any team has scored in a single game in this year’s tournament.
Manager Lou Simon reflected on the team’s impressive run after the game.
“Since June 1 we got together as a team, we’ve been practicing together, and put a lot of hard work in,” he said. “To be able to get to where we got to as a team, this has been just a great season.”
The players chimed in as well, reflecting on what, for many of them, has been a lifelong dream.
“This whole tournament has been amazing,” said Will Owens, who pitched 2 2/3 innings of shutout ball in their final victory, “I’ve been dreaming about this probably since I was four.”
Coventry Little League beat a strong Pittsfield American team to win the New England Region crown and earn its trip to Williamsport.
Tracy Colucci, mother of the team’s starting catcher and closer Anthony Colucci, reflected on the team’s path to Williamsport and what came out of it.
“There’s so much to be proud of,” she said. The road to get here has been truly amazing and the boys played their hearts out.”
She went on to express her gratitude to the team’s coaching staff, in addition to the city of Coventry for their support.
“We have so many supporters of Coventry and Coventry Little League here,” she said. “I would expect back home they are (the team) going to have a great welcome.”
One of those Coventry supporters was Mike Murphy, a former Little League coach who traveled to Williamsport to support his local team.
“I finally retired and decided I wanted to come up here,” he said. “Luckily, the home team made it. I wish I could have gotten here when I was coaching.”
As someone who has followed the team’s journey to Williamsport, Mr. Murphy was impressed with how the players handled the environment.
“Even 30 seconds after they would lose, they would adjust in no time at all,” he said. “I think the parents are having a harder time, but the kids are having a grand ole time.”
Murphy was also fascinated by the team’s interactions with some of the international teams.
“You know, they’re mixing with kids from Australia, Japan, South Korea, etc., and it’s amazing to watch,” he added.
Players and coaches will return to Coventry on Tuesday, having spent 16 days away from home.
“Yea, I miss my brother, my dad and my mom,” said player Noah McParlin.
The starting pitcher for the day, Tommy Turner had one thing in mind when asked about returning home. “I just miss my dog,” he joked.
In their first-ever appearance in the Little League Baseball World Series, Coventry Little League will head back to Rhode Island with a 1-2 LLBWS record, but more importantly, their heads held high.