The all-star team from the Torrance Little League is scheduled Thursday to become the first team from Los Angeles County since 1994 to play in the Little League World Series.
Torrance is set to face its counterpart from North Manchester-Hooksett (New Hampshire) Little League at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Viewing parties for the 4 p.m. ESPN telecast will be held at Rizzo’s Pizza, 24100 Narbonne Ave., Lomita, and The Crest Sports Bar & Grill, 1625 Cabrillo Ave., Torrance.
Torrance is in the Little League World Series thanks to decisions by Little League International, which chose to limit the World Series to U.S. teams because of the coronavirus pandemic but keep the same number of games for ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC to televise.
The top two teams from all eight U.S. regions advanced to the World Series instead of just the champion. Torrance was the runner-up in the West Region, losing 7-2 to all-star team from the Honolulu Little League in the regional final Saturday at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino.
The Little League World Series is a modified double-elimination tournament, giving the losing team another chance to play after its first loss. The exceptions are in the championship games of both brackets and the entire tournament where the losing team will not get another chance to play, even if it was previously undefeated.
Torrance overcame first-game losses in both the Southern California and West Region tournaments to reach the Little League World Series.
Torrance lost 6-4 to the Eastlake Little League all-stars July 24 to begin the 10-team Southern California Divisional Tournament, then won five games in six days to reach the championship series where it defeated Eastlake 8-4 and 10-5 to reach the West Region Tournament.
Torrance began the six-team West Region tournament with a 1-0 loss to the all-stars from Arizona’s Queen Creek Little League Aug. 8, relegating it to the elimination bracket, where it won its next three games to advance to the World Series.
Only invited friends and family of teams and other high-level supporters will be able to see the Little League World Series in person due to concerns over the coronavirus’ Delta variant.
The all-star team from the Northridge Little League is the most recent previous Los Angeles County team to play in the Little League World Series. It won the U.S. championship with a team including future USC and NFL quarterback Matt Cassel, then lost to the all-star team from Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela for the world championship.
North Manchester-Hooksett won the New England Region, losing its opener then winning its next four games.
Actor Adam Sandler played in the North Manchester-Hooksett Little League. Following North Manchester-Hooksett’s 11-1 victory over the Manchester (Connecticut) Little League All-Stars Saturday to win the New England Regional, he posted a picture on his Instagram account of the team holding the championship banner and this message, “North Hooksett Manchester Little League are now the New England champs. Holy Cow! Way to take it to the next level you studs! Next stop Williamsport! Me and my whole old team are pulling for you!!!”