The third-best Little League baseball team in the world is returning home to the Petaluma on Monday afternoon.
The Petaluma National team, for the U.S. championship to a team from Tennessee on Saturday after an amazing 10-run comeback at the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania, was scheduled to land at San Francisco International Airport late Monday morning, Petaluma Little League president Andrew Lackey said.
The players and coaches are then planning to head to a celebratory gathering at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds at 175 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma at about 1 p.m., Lackey said. Manager Eric Smith might briefly address the crowd, Lackey said, but the real celebration of the team's achievement will be a in Petaluma starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2.
"They have nothing to be ashamed about. They're the third-best team in the world and second-best in the United States. I'm OK with that," Petaluma Little League board member Andre Davis said.
Petaluma National rallied from a 15-5 deficit Saturday to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the undefeated Goodletsville, Tenn., team responded with nine runs in the top of the seventh inning and won 24-16.
In a third-place game before the world championship on Sunday, Petaluma National defeated a team from Panama, 12-4. The Tennessee team lost 12-2 to the Kitasuna Little League team of Tokyo, Japan, in the world championship game Sunday. The Japan team was undefeated in its five Little League World Series games.
— Bay City News Service