So close, yet so far -- and what a ride it was.
The Belmont-Redwood Shores Little League team missed out on a trip to the Little League World Series, but the first squad from the Peninsula to reach the regional final are still "returning to the Bay Area as champions," according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Coach Rudy Lopez's crew of 12-year olds lost to Eastlake of Chula Vista, 9-0, on Saturday in San Bernadino -- the place where the West Regional, the last step before the finals in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is played -- after defeating the team 3-2 in an earlier game.
Belmont-Redwood Shores finishes its season with a 21-2 record, the newspaper reported.
Pitching was key for this team. Against Santa Cruz, pitcher Nicolas Lopez threw a no-hitter, and he one-hit Hawaii. Sean Lee also recorded 19 strikeouts in an 8-inning span.