SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — They have paraded into downtown Williamsport.
They have paraded into Volunteer Stadium with 15 other Little League baseball teams from around the world.
But, finally, after being in Pennsylvania since Monday, the Northern Little League All-stars are ready to do what they came more than 900 miles to do.
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Games started Friday afternoon and Northern’s players watched as New England and the Northwest played in the first game shortly after lunch — and more than 24 hours before Northern’s nationally televised first pitch against Hawaii at 3 p.m. today in Lamade Stadium.
“Now, I am getting ready,” said Northern left fielder Knox Carter. “And I am almost getting nervous — almost.”
Nervous and anxious.
The team, which last played eight days ago in the Southeastern Regional final, has been practicing in the Williamsport complex since Tuesday. They have done ESPN interviews and gotten new uniforms and lots of cool stuff like new bats.
All of that goes on the back burner this afternoon when ABC televises the Southeast-West game.
It could not come soon enough for pitcher Jacob Pate, who is expected to throw some against Hawaii.
“I am anxious,” Pate said. “We’ve been ready to play.”
And today the whole Little League World Series experience will change for his team, said catcher Blake Hicks.
“It won’t feel like Williamsport until that first pitch,” he said.