Cranston Little Leaguers arrive home to warm welcome

WPRI/Perry Russom

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Cranston Western Little League team was given a warm welcome Wednesday as they arrived home from Williamsport.

The boys were given a police escort to Cranston Stadium, where they were met by cheering family, friends and fans. It was the first time being home in Rhode Island since they left for the regional tournament in Bristol, Conn. more than two weeks ago.

“At first I forgot what Cranston looked like,” Dave Marchetti joked. “It’s actually pretty cool to be back home, see everybody that was supporting us who couldn’t come down to Williamsport, and I can’t wait to get home in my actual house.”

The team went 1-2 competing on a national stage at the Little League World Series. They beat Missouri in a tense game Saturday, but fell to South Carolina and California in the double-elimination tournament.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience. The kids, the parents, the siblings, they’re never going to see that again,” said Nick San Antonio, whose brother is on the team. “You just got to take it all in when you’re there. When you get back, you’re going to look back in 20 years and go ‘holy crap, I was there. My kid was playing in the World Series against all these teams from around the world.’ It was a great experience.”

The week produced some memorable plays, such as Tommy Harper’s catch in right field that made it into SportsCenter’s Top 10.

“I’ve always dreamed about being on SportsCenter Top 10, even better being the best of the best play,” he said.

“Let’s face it, we’re in the top 10 in the country, no matter how you slice it,” added head coach Garry Bucci. “That’s pretty good, I’m very, very pleased.”

The boys of summer won’t be that for much longer, though, as they get ready to go back to school next week.

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