Tennessee Wins Again, Advances To U.S. Championship - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Wins Again, Advances To U.S. Championship

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GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee scratched out two late runs to get to the U.S. final in the Little League World Series.

Cole Carter had an RBI single after Jake Rucker scored the tying run from second on a throwing error to give the boys from Goodlettsville, Tennessee,  a 4-3 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night.

Texas had scored twice in the fifth before Tennessee rallied with its late-game heroics.

Reliever Luke Brown closed it out with a double play, and giddy Tennessee players celebrated in front of their dugout with wide smiles while kneeling on the ground as friends and families cheered from the stands.

Fans from home supported the team at a viewing party Wednesday night to watch the Goodlettsville Boys as they continued their bid in the Little League World Series.

Local baseball fans donated a 28-foot TV for fans to cheer on the boys at Field 7 of the baseball quad at Moss Wright Park in Goodlettsville.

Meanwhile, firefighters across Nashville tuned in on televisions of their own.  That's because the Nashville Fire Department has several connections to the team.

The team's manager, Joey Hale, is a Nashville firefighter. His father Jerry is serving as his assistant coach. He's also a retired district chief with the Nashville Fire Department.

"Oh, it's a huge deal," said firefighter Scott Harris. "It will be very uplifting. I mean, to have that close of a connection to a World Series team."

The connections don't end with the Hale family.

Mike Kelly, who is vice president of Goodlettsville Little League, is a captain with the Nashville Fire Department.

Josh Smith is an assistant chief with NFD.  His son, Justin, plays on the team.

That's why Harris and the rest of his co-workers cheered on the team Wednesday night from their fire station in downtown Nashville.

"These guys are proud of those boys," said Chief Ricky Taylor.  "They had to endure a bunch of games this summer to get where they are; they don't hand this out.  You have to earn it, it's not given to you.  So yeah, they're heroes to our heroes."

Firefighters said they are already planning a homecoming celebration for the team, win or lose.

Next stop for unbeaten Tennessee: The U.S. championship game Saturday.

Earlier Wednesday, Japan played textbook baseball in a 4-1 victory over Panama.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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