(CBS) — Jackie Robinson West fell behind early and never recovered in their 13-2 loss to Nevada Sunday at the Little League World Series.
Pitcher Brandon Green walked the first three batters he faced before giving up a grand slam in the first inning, the first of five home runs hit by Nevada.
Nevada took a 13-2 lead in the fourth inning and won by the 10-run mercy rule.
The Little League World Series is a double elimination tournament. Jackie Robinson West will take on Rhode Island on Monday.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports coaches and parents had a three word response to the loss: this is baseball. Teams at every level get hammered sometimes and you have to bounce back. It’s a life lesson for the 11- and 12-year-olds.
“It is not over with yet. There is still another game. We have to persevere and come from behind,” said Ricky Luster, the father of one of the players. “They needed to be humbled and they got humbled today
“Life is up and down just like baseball. You are not going to win them all and they understand that,” said coach Darold Butler. “But at the same time, you gotta put them cleats back on and go do it again.”
Coach Darold Butler said the plan was simple for Sunday night: order some pizza, have fun, sleep in Monday morning, shrug off the loss and get ready for Monday night’s game.
Fans at the official watch party at Jackie Robinson Park didn’t have much to cheer about. But for many of the people who turned out, it wasn’t just about Sunday’s game, this was a celebration of long-term success.
As the crowd gathered for the viewing party, some members of the Jackie Robinson West League still had work to do, like James Mason and his five-year-old son, Tyee.
“We’re a baseball family. Jackie Robinson’s a baseball league, so we play every single day,” said Mason.
It’s that kind of dedication, since 1971, that’s made the league successful. Their motto: hard work beats talent. Todd Prince has been coaching 17 years.
“Hard work sometimes doesn’t go your way but you gotta keep fighting,” Prince said.
Governor Quinn was on hand to don a t-shirt, hop on the bandwagon and look on the sunny side.
“They’ve got energy, they’ve got enthusiasm, they’re idealistic, they’re a lot of fun and play together. That’s what life’s about,” Quinn said.
Sometimes it’s about picking up the pieces and carrying on. Stevie Smith played on a JRW team in 1972, the second year the league was around. Despite Sunday’s result, he couldn’t be prouder.
“I’m just living my dreams right now thru these guys, you know,” Smith said.