SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Lamade Stadium and the lawn behind it were filled with baseball fans caught up in the Philadelphia frenzy in South Williamsport.
The Taney Dragons from the City of Brotherly Love were taking on the team from Las Vegas Wednesday night.
However, they didn’t need Lady Luck going against the City of Chance; they have their own lucky lady, star pitcher, 13-year-old Mo’Ne Davis.
“I think it’s awesome that a girl is playing with the guys and she’s doing such an awesome job all over,” said Lisa Schmidt from Northampton.
“We drove up here. I left work early today so we could get up here just to see her pitch tonight, so I’m hoping she’s going to be on the mound,” said Kyle Mace, who came up from Dover, Delaware.
“Phillies fan and Eagles fan, so got a lot of pride right now,” said Richard Schmidt from Northampton. “I’m happy to see a girl going at it.”
With a team from Pennsylvania in the series, Little League officials estimated a turnout of roughly 32,000 people.
“I think it draws a big crowd. I was here a couple years ago when we had another local team, and we saw the support that that brought from the local area, so it’s the same thing from Philadelphia,” said Gwen Petrella from Williamsport.
“180 miles, three-hour drive, priceless,” said Joe Bondiskey from Philadelphia.
To deal with the crowds, tickets were required for stadium seating.
Folks came out early in the morning, as it was first come, first serve.
“Oh my god, for two hours, over two hours, standing in line to get the tickets. We went home to get something to eat and drink and came back. We were determined not to be in the back of the line this time,” said Nicole Anderson.
“It’s very, very important because Philadelphia’s my hometown anyway, so I’m just, like, rooting for them extra hard now,” said Patrice Brunson from Williamsport.
Jessica Brown is the principal of Masterman School in Philadelphia. Some of the Taney players are her students.
“It is unbelievable, and the tone right now in the city is ecstatic,” said Brown. “The mayor is out there right now. They’re having a watch party at city hall.”
In the end, the Taney Dragons lost to the team from Las Vegas 8-1. The Pennsylvania team will take on the team from Chicago at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Tickets will again be required for stadium seating.