The Cumberland American Little League team fought hard but fell to Illinois 8-7 in an elimination game at the Little League World Series on Monday night.
"This is pretty fitting that we went out with a fight," said Cumberland American manager Dave Belisle. "The only thing I'm disappointed about is that I won't get a chance to coach these guys again. But it has to end sometime. I told the boys, 'There's only one team standing in this tournament. And you are just as good as anybody in here on this field.' We proved that in the three games we played. We could have won all three games. And that's all you can ask for from your players."
"We had a great run and we know that our town is proud of us. It's pretty awesome," said Addison Kopack.
"I feel that I competed in something that I thought I never would," said Trey Thibeault.
Cumberland American jumped out to an early 2-1 lead after the first inning.
Illinois rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the third inning.
In the bottom of the third inning, Thibeault capped a five-run inning with a two-run home run and Cumberland American took a 7-6 lead.
In the fifth inning, Illinois's Darion Radcliff tied the game with a RBI single, and Joshua Houston gave them the lead with another RBI single.
Tyler Provost had two hits and drove in two runs for Cumberland American. C.J. Davock and Kopack each added two hits.
Belisle had nothing but praise for his team that went 1-2 in the tournament.
"They definitely learned what the word pride is that type of pride that they brought to the community of Cumberland and the state Rhode Island. We even had the whole region of New England loving us not because of our wins but our effort. And what else is better than being appreciated for the effort," he said.
"It gave me the summer of my life and I'll never forget. For my wife, for my family, for myself and for little Johnny, we needed this run. And these kids provided it."