Great Start! Elizabeth Little League Wins World Series Opener
The Elmora Little League team from Elizabeth won its first game in World Series play in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Frida, with a 6-2 come-from-behind win over the Northwest Region champs from Oregon.
Down 2-1 going into the fifth, the Troopers clinched the win with a big fifth inning in the six inning game, sparked by Jayden Capindica's single that scored the first of five runs, and taking advantage of errors by Oregon.
The stands were packed with six busloads of fans from Elizabeth, Elizabeth mayor Chris Bollwage told New Jersey 101.5. More buses were being lined up to make the trip for Sunday's game against defending World Series champion Central Hawaii from Maui.
"It was exciting to be there and watch the parents and family and friends of the Elmora Youth Team cheer them onto a big comeback win," Bollwage said.
"The kids are playing their heart out and they didn't quit on themselves when they got down early 2-1.
A contingent of New Jersey State Police troopers escorted the team onto the field on Friday night.
The team takes its name from New Jersey State Police trooper Thomas J. Hanratty, who was killed in 1992 during a traffic stop. He played in the Elmora Youth league as a boy, and members of the Troopers all have Hanratty’s badge number, 4971, on their uniforms. Menbers of the Hanratty family were at the game to cheer on the Troopers.
"The boys played an awesome game — winning a nail biter — and are still in the running for their quest to be Little League World Series Champions," State Police tweeted after the game.
The team's journey to the World Series began by defeating the Holbrook Little League from Jackson to win the 2019 state Joe Graziano State Little League Championship and the Mid-Atlantic Regionals where they only lost one game to capture the championship.