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Bowling Green's little league team may not still be alive in the Little League World Series for this weekend's championship games, but Joe Corcoran reports they couldn't hold the tournament without a big Bowling Green presence.

Celebration Planned for Little League Team's Return

Aug 28, 2015

The Bowling Green Little League team will finally be coming home.

After winning two games in the Little League World Series and being on the road for more than a month, the boys will be returning home from Williamsport, Pennsylvania Sunday afternoon

They’ll fly into Nashville about 1:00, then have a police escort up to Bowling Green. A celebration is planned for Kereiakes Park beginning at 2:30.

There’ll be food and activities for the kids and they’ll be showing Saturday afternoon’s  Little League World Series championship game beginning at 2:00 Central time.

It was more difficult and took longer than the first game.

There were some nerve-wracking moments. Sweetwater Valley received more than a little help from an opponent kicking the ball around and throwing it away.

Of course, too, there were some balls hit over the fence.

Sweetwater Valley beat Bowling Green East, 11-3, on Tuesday night, a result that was far more of a challenge to achieve than Friday's 14-2, 3½-inning rout of the same opponent.

How another Little league World Series victory came didn’t really matter. It did.

"As long as we can capitalize ... I'm OK," Sweetwater Valley manager Ward Lannom said. "A win is a win."

Sweetwater Valley at the Little League World Series

Sweetwater Valley took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning before it even really started hitting -- on two singles, a walk, two errors and a passed ball.

Levi Mendez swelled that lead to 5-0 with a two-out line drive over the left field fence in the second inning. That hit was made possible when Antonio Andrade beat out a slow roller to first base.

Bowling Green got on the board and threatened to do more in the bottom of the fourth. Nate Nankil relieved SVLL starter Dante Schmid with two outs and the bases loaded, and after a wild pitch brought home the inning’s second run, Nankil got out of the inning with a strikeout.

Andrade led off the fifth with a long blast to the grassy hill beyond right field to end a run of six straight Sweetwater Valley strikeouts and push the lead to 6-2, and it went to 7-2 after Nankil doubled, went to third on Walker Lannom’s single and scored on a passed ball.

A fifth-inning home run cut the lead to four runs, and Bowling Green had a runner on first when Andrade speared a hard grounder to third base and threw out the runner to end the inning. That was one of a handful of fantastic fielding plays by SVLL on Tuesday.

After Sweetwater Valley scored four runs on two walks, one hit and two errors in the top of the sixth, Nankil closed out the save. Schmid earned his second victory of the Series.

Eli Burwash scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning then earned the save pitching as Bowling Green, Kentucky, avoided elimination Monday at the Little League World Series by beating Taylors, South Carolina 4-3.

Red Land dropped South Carolina into the losers' bracket Sunday night with a 9-8 comeback win.

Bowling Green will play Tuesday night against the winner of Monday night's game between Cranston, Rhode Island and Bonita, California.

Burwash struck out two batters and allowed only a walk during the sixth inning to preserve the win. He hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the fifth inning and scored the go-ahead run on Maddox Burr's infield single with two outs. Burwash also hit a leadoff home run in the first inning as Bowling Green built a 3-0 lead.

Taylors is the first South Carolina team to win a game at the series. Braden Golinski led the team with a two-run home run.

Bowling Green has won four straight elimination games since regionals.

Bowling Green's little league team got rained out at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA Thursday. They'll play their first tournament game Friday afternoon at 1:00 Central time on ESPN.

Bowling Green will take on the west regional champs California.

All Little League World Series were rained out Thursday; eight games will be played FRiday.

Kentucky will have a representative in the Little League World Series.

An eight-run explosion in the 2nd inning carried Kentucky's Bowling Green Little League team to a 13-0 win in four innings over Wisconsin Saturday to win the Great Lakes Regional Championship.

The last time a Kentucky team won the Great Lakes Region was La Grange in 2011.

The Bowling Green team now goes on to face the West Regional Champion Sweetwater Valley from Oregon in the first round of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. That game will be Thursday evening.

The team went right to Pennsylvania following Saturday's game in Indianapolis. Their head coach Rick Kelley told WKU Public Radio the 11, 12 and 13 year old boys don't really show their emotion on their sleeve but, "they have to be overwhelmed by the whole sight."

Their dorm overlooks the field they'll be playing on during the Series.

Kelley said many of the boys have never even been out of Warren County before so it's "good to see them taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience." Kelley says they're hanging out in the stadium's rec room playing Ping Pong with players from other teams who are there from all over the world.

Kelley said, "It's really amazing to see how much the boys have matured in just the last six weeks, but this takes then to a whole other level. They're missing a lot of classroom time back home, but they're learning more life experience on this trip than they ever could in the classroom."

Seven new members will be inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Wednesday night in Louisville.

The inductees include former WKU women's basketball coach Paul Sanderford and former Major League Baseball umpire Randy Marsh, a native of Northern Kentucky.

Hall of Fame President Jim Ellis says Marsh worked dozens of big events during his 28 year career, including five World Series and four All-Star games. “Kind of guy you could sit and listen to forever," Ellis said, "He’s got stories about past players that a lot of us grew up watching on television, and he actually umpired and got nose-to-nose with some of them.”

Other inductees include Keeneland Race Course, former Fairdale High School basketball coach Lloyd Gardner, Laurel County basketball standout Sharon Garland, track star Shandy Boyd Smith of Louisville, and Mel Purcell, who played on the pro tennis tour and is the men’s tennis coach at Murray State University.

Instead of turning in a $2 ticket that would pay $3.80 for American Pharoah winning the Belmont Stakes, most people who bought the tickets are hanging on to them as keepsakes — or even investments.

American Pharoah became the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the venerable Triple Crown. The 3-year-old colt entered Saturday's race as a heavy favorite — and it seems that thousands of people who bet on him to win were doing so in the hopes of getting a souvenir.

Kentucky News Network

Triple Crown champion American Pharoah returned home to Churchill Downs Sunday as his handlers prepared for boisterous celebrations 37 years in the making.

Less than 24 hours after winning the Belmont Stakes to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since 1978, the bay colt received the VIP treatment upon his return to Louisville.

Police escorted American Pharoah's transport van from the airport to trainer Bob Baffert's Barn 33, and the horse was cheered like a rock star by hundreds of fans as his entrance was broadcast over the jumbo screen overlooking the storied track.

The energy figures to ratchet up for the horse, whose display in the adjacent Kentucky Derby museum was updated to reflect his historic achievement.

Churchill Downs' famous twin spires will display Zayat Stables' turquoise-and-gold colors all week.

WKU Athletics

WKU has a new leader of its baseball team. The school will introduc John Pawlowski Thursday afternoon as the new head coach of the Hilltopper baseball program.

Pawlowski formally coached at Auburn and the College of Charleston, and has been to 11 NCAA tournaments as either a head coach or assistant coach.

WKU announced last month that Matt Myers wouldn’t be retained following four seasons as the school’s baseball coach.

Here's a look at Pawlowski's coaching career:

Pawlowski’s Coaching Career

2014-15: San Diego State Assistant Coach (2 Years; 2 NCAA Tournaments)

2009-13: Auburn Head Coach (5 Years; 167-126 Record, and 1 NCAA Tournament)

2000-08: College of Charleston Head Coach (9 Years; 338-192 Record)