COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) – After a dramatic win to advance to the Little League World Series, the Coon Rapids-Andover baseball team was back at it Friday, defeating the team from Bowling Green, Kentucky, 2-1.

Rain postponed their first game in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Thursday night, so that meant the first pitch was noon Friday.

Boulevard Bar & Grille in Coon Rapids was packed full of lively parents and players.

“It’s huge for us and our league. Coon Rapids-Andover American Little League is 61 years old now and this is the first team to ever make it to Williamsport. So for us, it’s monumental. It’s historic,” said Greg Garbow, who coaches 11-year-old players.

Midwest Regional Champions t-shirts were printed Thursday. It’s what fans wore, along with “CRALL” hats, as they watched their favorite team. Eleven-year-olds were glued to the TV, watching the 12-year-olds they’ve so often faced make Minnesota proud.

“It’s really exciting. I just want to do it next year so bad and get that far,” said Levi McCullough.

“It’s really cool. I just wish that could be me someday. I just want to go there and see what it’s like,” Griffen Garbow added.

“We were all just screaming and everyone was just super loud,” Kate Garbow said.

Kate played little league with second baseman Maddy Frecking, the 19th girl to play in the Little League World Series. Kate’s cousin, Jaxon Knutson, is shortstop.

“It’s so cool. He’s so happy, too. I’ve been contacting him and calling him and he’s really excited, along with all the other kids,” Kate said.

Coon-Rapids Andover is the first team from Minnesota to get to the Little League World Series since 2010, a huge achievement and rare opportunity.

The team will now play the Virginia team in the winner’s bracket Sunday at 10 a.m.

John Lauritsen

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