Baseball

Lexington’s Eastern Little League faces tough path to Williamsport

Eastern Little League players wish 12-year-old All-Stars good luck with a song

The Lexington Eastern Little League 12-year-old All-Stars were sent an encouraging message from other players in the league as they rode on a bus to cheer the All-Stars on in Westfield, Ind.
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The Lexington Eastern Little League 12-year-old All-Stars were sent an encouraging message from other players in the league as they rode on a bus to cheer the All-Stars on in Westfield, Ind.

Lexington’s Eastern Little League will need to win three nationally televised games in three days to secure its place in history.

Eastern’s 12-year-old all-stars are aiming to become the first team from Lexington since 1978 to claim a spot in the Little League Baseball World Series at Williamsport, Pa.

Four teams still have a shot at the title in what began as a six-team field at the Great Lakes Valley Regional in Westfield, Ind. The tournament champion advances to Williamsport.

Eastern has won two of its three games this week — defeating Indiana and Wisconsin and losing to Illinois — but will be knocked out of the double-elimination format event with one more defeat.

Eastern faces Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Little League of Michigan at 5 p.m. Thursday. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN. The loser will be eliminated. The winner moves on to a 5 p.m. Friday matchup with the Ohio state champions with a spot in Saturday’s championship game at stake.

Hinsdale Little League of Illinois, the only team that has not lost a game in the tournament, has already secured a spot in the title game.

Great Lakes Regional

At Grand Park sports complex in Westfield, Ind.

Thursday: Kentucky vs Michigan, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday: Ohio vs. Kentucky-Michigan winner, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday’s championship game: Illinois vs. Friday’s winner, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Tournament records

Records of every team in this week’s Great Lakes Regional:

Illinois 2-0

Kentucky 2-1

Ohio 2-1

Michigan 1-1

Wisconsin 0-2

Indiana 0-2

Eastern Little League roster

Here are the players and coaches representing Eastern Little League in the Great Lakes Regional:

Players: Ty Bryant, Braxton Burse, Max DeGraff, Dylan Ginnan, Leighton Harris, Joey Howard, Grady Johnson, Graham Johnson, Will Kessinger, Brady Robeson, Chase Rose, Harrison Tibe, Caleb Wombles, Drew Bowles (Alternate).

Coaches: Manager Jeff Ginnan, pitching coaches Marty DeGraff and Tom Robeson, and assistants Cisco Bryant and John Johnson.

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