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Chicago's Jackie Robinson West beats Rhode Island in Little League World Series

The Jackie Robinson West Little League team kept fans on the edge of their seats Monday night.
The Jackie Robinson West Little League team kept fans on the edge of their seats Monday night. The South Siders pulled off an 8-7 victory over Rhode Island at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

They advance another round and will take on Pearland, Texas on Tuesday.

"It's great, it's amazing. We on the road now, the train's back on the track!" said Alvin Johnson, father of Jackie Robinson West player.

"It's just been tremendous for our children, for our parents, we just love it," said Annie Haley, wife of South Side Little League director.



On the grounds of the series, there's more than baseball for participants and players. For the Chicago players, there are also fans looking for autographs.

Despite all the activity, players for Jackie Robinson West say they are ready to play, especially after a tough loss Sunday night to Mountain Ridge from Las Vegas.

PHOTO: Jackie Robinson West in Little League World Series

"West Region played a great game, can't really say anything, they played great defense and they were hitting the ball well, nothing you could do about that," said DJ Butler, a Jackie Robinson West player.

"We tried to bounce back because we knew after we lost that we still had a chance, so we just forgot about it when the game was over and said we've got to come back today and win," said Pierce Jones, a Jackie Robinson West player.

The loss was a break in their winning streak that began in the regional qualifying rounds.

Coach Darold Butler said he was glad to see the players keep things in perspective after the game.

"I'm glad they're relaxed because if they're relaxed, I'm relaxed," Butler said.

Parents said they are proud of their sons' reactions, saying these are the real-life lessons bigger than baseball.

"With raising an African American child, we always preach and teach resilience, sometimes things may not always fall in your favor, but you have to keep your head up and you have to keep going," said Venisa Green, the mother of a Jackie Robinson West player.

"It was done for him when the game was over with, by the time I saw him, he was back to his spirited self, he didn't want to talk about that game, he was looking forward to the next game," said Alvin Jones, the father of a Jackie Robinson West player.

Supporters back in Chicago cheered on the team at a watch party at Jackie Robinson Park, 10540 South Morgan Street.

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