Par-Troy East Set To Begin Little League World Series Run [AUDIO]
The waiting is just about over for the boys from Parsippany-Troy East Little League. They are just one day away from their first game at the Little League World Series.
Following a grueling Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Bristol, Connecticut, which they won with a tense 1-0 win on Sunday over the representative from Delaware, the team immediately traveled to Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series.
"We've been on the road," Manager Mike Ruggiero said, "I haven't been home since August 3rd, and hopefully we're not going home anytime soon."
So far, the team has taken part in all of the pre-tournament activities, media commitments, dorming with the other teams, and, of course, practicing.
Despite the whirlwind schedule that has surrounded the boys since arriving in Pennsylvania, Ruggiero has no concerns about them being prepared for their opening game on Friday at 3PM against the Southwest Regional representative from San Antonio, Texas.LISTEN: Full interview with Manager Mike Ruggiero
"They know we gotta get down to business, and they'll be giving it their best shot on Friday."
Their remarkable 17-2 run through the summer tournaments has required plenty of sacrifice and discipline, and Ruggiero says the community has had their back the whole way.
"Oh, plenty of support back home. They were making day-trips, driving two hours, fifteen minutes one way just to see a baseball game," he said.
That support will continue as busloads of fans from New Jersey are expected to make the trip to Williamsport for Friday's game.
"I hear the place is going nuts. I hope that people are putting things on DVD's for me," he joked.
The storybook run has been no fluke, though. This team has been kept together since the boys were 8 years old. For four years, the all-stars have been collecting hardware at the annual summer tournaments, which has primed them for this year's run at the Little League World Series. It was a goal that players and coaches had set out for when the summer began.
"We work hard for them. We just ask that they work just as hard back. And they've done that, and they got rewarded. They worked their right to the Little League World Series," Ruggiero said.
Ruggiero said the kids are having the times of their lives, but are not acting like this stage is too big for them.
"You can't tell. They're excited, yes, but they act like very professional for their age," he explained, "I'm really proud of them."
For information on a planned rally and bus trips out to Williamsport, along with fundraising information to ease the cost on parents, check out the Par-Troy East Little League website.
Here are some ways you can contribute to the team:
Rita’s on North Beverwyck Road in Lake Hiawatha is running a PTE fundraiser on Thursday from 630 to 1030pm. Twenty five percent of all sales will go back to the league. Please head out to Rita’s, wear your PTE red and let the cashier know that you’re there to support PTE – and thank them for their generous offer!
MODELL’S SPORTING GOODS
As you may be aware, Modell’s sold out its initial stock of 300 commemorative shirts in 30 minutes today. There should not be a supply/demand issue tomorrow. Modell’s has advised us that it will have 2,000 more shirts in stock by 11am on Thursday. Shirts are $10 each with 100% of proceeds going to support the PTE team. We’re pleased that the shirt is in demand. Please thank Modell’s for supporting our league!
Class Act (86 N. Beverwyck Road, Lake Hiawatha) is producing really nice hats to commemorate our 11/12 baseball team. The hats will sell for $15 each with 100% of the proceeds going to support our team. We have been told that Class Act will have a limited supply of hats on Thursday with a greater supply on Friday. Class Act has worked with PTE for many years. Please let Class Act know that we appreciate their generous offer to help our team.
SEND OFF TO WILLIAMSPORT
Finally, we’d like to have a formal send off as we head to Williamsport! If you are driving to the game, feel free to stop by Northvail School on Friday at 9:45am.