The all-star team from the Santa Margarita National Little League is scheduled to play its second game in the 2017 Little League World Series Sunday, seeking to move within three victories of the championship.
Rancho Santa Margarita-based Santa Margarita, the Southern California and West Regional champion, will face the all-star team from the North State Little League, the North Carolina and Southeast Region champion, in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania in a matchup of teams who both won their openers Friday.
Santa Margarita was a 9-0 winner over the Walla Walla Valley all-stars, the Washington state and Northwest Region champion, while Greenville, North Carolina-based North State all-stars defeated their counterparts from the Sioux Falls Little League, the South Dakota and Midwest Region champion, 6-0.
A victory would advance Santa Margarita into a U.S. bracket semifinal Wednesday against the winner of Sunday’s game between the New England and Southwest regional champions.
A loss would put Santa Margarita into an elimination game Monday against the Mid-Atlantic Region champion, the all-star team from the Holbrook Little League, a 15-5 winner Saturday over the Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores all-stars, the Great Lakes Region champion.
Santa Margarita is 17-0 in its five tournaments. It is the eighth Orange County team to advance to the Little League World Series and first since 2011 when the all-star team from Huntington Beach’s Ocean View Little League became the county’s first team to win the world championship.
Viewing parties will be held at the following locations for the ESPN telecast of the 11 a.m. game:
— BallPark Pizza Team, 28813 Los Alisos Blvd., Mission Viejo;
— Daily’s Sports Grill, 29881 Aventura, Rancho Santa Margarita;
— Islands, The Shops at Mission Viejo; and
— M&C Grill, 31911 Dove Canyon Drive, Trabuco Canyon.
Diners telling staff at BallPark Pizza Team and Islands they are there to watch the game will have 20 percent of their bills donated to help the players’ families to defray the cost of traveling to the Little League World Series and 15 percent at Daily’s Sports Grill and M&C Grill.
–City News Service