Update: After a rainout, Elmhurst is now playing their game against Ohio for the Little League World Series on Thursday. See more info here: https://tinyurl.com/3fpuw9jn
WHITESTOWN, IN — A special season for a group of young athletes from the Chicago area is one step away from being historic.
One of the parents for the Elmhurst Youth Baseball 12U team could see it early in 2023.
“We knew from the beginning this team was good and was going to get far. We all had confidence in our boys,” said Margaret Wente. “These group of boys are so good, they work so hard, they play so well together.
That has shown as the Elmhurst team is now just one win away from Little League World Series after an impressive season & run through the Great Lakes tournament. They’ll face Ohio for the regional championship in Whitestown, Indiana at 4 p.m. time and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
A win advances them to the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the tournament that runs August 16-27.
“I’m nervous and very excited for it,” said Elmhurst 12U player Michael Wente of the chance to play for a berth in the Little League World Series.
To get to this level, the team won its district and sectional championships in Illinois before defeating Hinsdale 6-1 in the state championship on July 25. In the regional tournament, Elmhurst defeated Indiana 13-1 on August 5 and then Ohio 8-4 on August 7.
By beating Kentucky, the Ohio team advanced to the championship to face Elmhurst on Wednesday. It’s a run that has even surprised some of the players, who’ll try to make history.
“We really haven’t had a big, really good match-up since about sectionals, and it’s going to be a really good game,” said Elmhurst player Dominic Martinello.
As the players focus on the critical game, it brings a number of emotions for the parents of the team, many of whom made the three-hour trip to suburban Indianapolis to watch their kids try to make history.
“I’m very nervous. I know we’re going to play a really tough team,” said Wente. “Their ace pitcher is probably going to be on the mound for them. We have a ton of great pitching, which is our advantage as well, so I am super nervous, but I’m excited because I really do have so much confidence that we’re gonna bring home the win.”
Larry Hawley talked with the team ahead of their regional championship from WGN News Now, which you can watch in the video above.