George Kiriyama reports on a little league team from Belmont Redwood Shores that is just a couple wins away from a ticket to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The Belmont Redwood Shores All-Stars Little League team beat the Chandler National team from Arizona 8-1 in the Western Regional semifinals Friday night and is one game away from the Little League World Series.
The team will play against Southern California's Eastlake Little League team in San Bernardino Saturday evening to decide the Western Regional champion.
"People are just over the moon on how far the All-Stars have come. Whether they win or not these kids have made us proud," Redwood City spokeswoman Sheri Costa-Batis said before Friday's game.
Andy Stulbarg watched his 12-year-old son Jake play at tonight's game in San Bernardino. "This is certainly the biggest stage the boys have ever played on," he said.
Jake delivered an RBI single and scored two runs. The team of 13 boys is going into seventh or eighth grade this coming school year, Stulbarg said. Stulbarg said he sent his son a text message that simply said "good luck."
A watch party helped raise money to alleviate the team's travel expenses and included a barbecue organized by the Belmont Fire Department, a raffle, and a silent auction. Team t-shirts were also on sale.
Another watch party will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at Carlmont High School at 1400 Alameda De Las Pulgas. Donations to the team can also be made on their website at www.brsll.org.
Patricia Braunstein, a board member for the little league team, said, "It's so rare that teams get to play at this level. It may never happen again."
Braunstein has helped organize four watch parties so far and hopes to raise $20,000 to cover the team's travel expenses in San Bernardino.