Clinton Co Pols Congratulate Keystone Little Leaguers
By Ali Carey, Contributing Writer
In a week of exciting games before record-setting crowds, Keystone Little League advanced further in the Little League World Series than any Pennsylvania team in more than 20 years.
They held their own against national competition despite having the disadvantage of coming from a cold weather state where they can’t play ball year round. However, the Keystone kids’ hopes of a World Championship were dashed Friday night when they lost to a seasoned team from Huntington Beach, California. The California team had only given up one run in the entire series prior to Thursday night’s game, and won its first two games with a combined 21-0 score.
Despite narrowly missing advancement to the World Series, Keystone Little League certainly made their home state proud. On Saturday, State Senator John N. Wozniak and State Representative Mike Hanna thanked the fans, parents, players and volunteers with Keystone Little League for a remarkable post-season performance which caught the attention of Little League fans nationwide.
“Our hearts are filled with pride in Clinton County as we welcome home the Keystone Little League team, coaches and parents following their historic run in the Little League World Series,” said Hanna, a Clinton County native. “These extraordinary young men have truly demonstrated the best of what our region, and Pennsylvania as a whole, has to offer.”
“It was a testament to the character of the kids and the quality of the coaching that not a single person in that stadium, including the California fans, thought that game was lost until the last strike was recorded. They made people believe that character could overcome anything and hopefully that lesson will stick.”
Senator Wozniak, whose district stretches to Clinton County from his base in Johnstown, said he was especially pleased to see a PA team shining on the national stage. By the conclusion of the game, more than 160,000 fans had witnessed the games, more than 30,000 were following on Facebook and fans as far west as California and as far north as Maine were sending their congratulations.
“It was thrilling to see this team put Clinton County on a national stage,” Wozniak said. “But it was even more gratifying to see that when the region was in the spotlight, it shone with grace, sportsmanship and spirit.”
It’s not the first time that Wozniak has made headlines with PA althletics, either. He lead the successful effort to renew the PSU-Pitt football rivalry.