The third-best Little League team in the world is returning home to the Bay Area today.
The Petaluma National team, which lost a thrilling game for the U.S. championship to a team from Tennessee on Saturday after an amazing 10-run comeback at the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania, is scheduled to land at San Francisco International Airport late Monday morning.
The team was scheduled to fly from Philadelphia to Atlanta and on to San Francisco, Petaluma Little League president Andrew Lackey said.
They are then planning to head to a celebratory gathering at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds at 175 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma around 1 p.m., Lackey said.
He said team manager Eric Smith might briefly address the crowd, but that the real celebration of the team's achievement in South Williamsport, Pa., will be a parade in Petaluma this weekend.
The parade is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, Lackey said.
Petaluma National rallied from a 15-5 deficit on Saturday to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the undefeated Goodletsville, Tenn., team responded with nine runs in the top of the seventh inning and won 24-16.
In a consolation game before the world championship on Sunday, Petaluma National defeated a team from Panama -- the runner-up to the Japan team -- 12-4.
"They have nothing to be ashamed about. They're the third-best team in the world and second-best in the United States. I'm OK with that," Petaluma Little League board member Andre Davis said this morning.
The Tennessee team lost 12-2 to the Kitasuna Little League team of Tokyo, Japan, in the world championship game on Sunday. The Japan team was undefeated in its five Little League World Series games.