CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI) – After a dramatic run in the Little League World Series, the Cumberland American team was welcomed home Friday by hundreds of friends, family, and fans.
The New England champions left Williamsport Friday and arrived back in Rhode Island at about 6 p.m. They were greeted by a sea of orange at Diamond Hill Park, and there was no shortage of emotion.
“I cry every day and I’m going to cry again,” said Sherry Meers, mother of Sean Meers. “Every single day there’s been moments. When you go and see the field, well first when they made the World Series, the first time you see the field, it’s just unbelievable.You get chills. I don’t think they comprehend the impact they have everywhere.”
The team gained national attention not only for their spirit and determination, but also for the touching words from their coach Dave Belisle after their 8-7 loss to Chicago on Monday.
“Everyone come in for one big hug,” he said after the boys cleared the field for the final time. “We’re going to go celebrate, and then we’re going to celebrate with our parents and come back home to a big parade. I love you guys, I’m going to love you forever and you’ve given me the most precious moment of my athletic and coaching career.”
After two very close games against both Texas and Tennessee, Cumberland American refused to go down without a fight during their final game. After falling behind, a two-run home run by Trey Thibault capped off an impressive third inning for Cumberland, giving them a 7-6 lead. A pair of RBI singles in the fifth then brought the lead back to Chicago. The Rhode Island boys were unable to mount another miraculous comeback in the bottom of the sixth.
That was Cumberland’s second loss in the double-elimination tournament, after falling to the Southwest Champions in their first game.
According to the Woonsocket Call, the team will also be honored at Fenway Park on September 5 prior to the Red Sox-Blue Jays game.