Chicago's Jackie Robinson West falls in 2nd game of Little League World Series

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Sunday, August 17, 2014
Jackie Robinson West falls in 2nd LIttle League World Series game
Brad Stone hit a grand slam in the first inning and Las Vegas hit five home runs in a 13-2 win over Chicago's Jackie Robinson West on Sunday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In a heartbreaking loss, Chicago's Jackie Robinson West lost 13-2 in their second Little League World Series game against a team From Las Vegas on Sunday, leaving the team one loss away from elimination.

The team of 11- and 12-year-olds will play again Monday night against a team from Rhode Island.

PHOTO: Jackie Robinson West in Little League World Series

In Chicago, fans were watching all of the action at Jackie Robinson Park in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

The boys of Jackie Robinson West knew going in that Las Vegas, winners of the West, were a really good club. You cannot afford to give them a whole lot of space. Regrettably, that's what happened Sunday, but the fans watching at the viewing party all left with their heads held high.

Tough start. Three walks and a grand slam. The faces show concern. But it's early. In the crowd of Jackie Robinson West rooters are members of past glory teams, living baseball again through their young successors.

"Actually, they're role models and they don't even know it. They're just enjoying the thrills," said Stevie Smith, who played on Jackie Robinson West in the 1970s.

Ronell Coleman played on the JRW team that went to Williamsport 31 years ago.

"We're down right now, but it's double elimination. The still have a have a great chance to come back and win it all. That's a great group right there," he said.

If only collective will could provide energy to young men far away from their home field.

"They've got energy, they've got enthusiasm, they're idealistic, they're a lot fun and they play together. That's what life's all about," said Governor Pat Quinn.

Alas, after winning by the mercy rule, the boys fell by the mercy rule, but there are no bowed heads. Only hope that double elimination provides.

"We're still in it," Vernon Coleman said. "It's not over 'til it's over. They've got heart, they're coached well."

"We have to keep in mind that they are children," Helen Robinson said. "They did an excellent job just making it there and I'm proud of them."

"They'll do it. They're winners. They're fighters. They're going to make it," Frances Bruce said.

It is Coach Darrell Butler's preference to bat first, be the visitor and hopefully put some runs on the board early. Unfortunately Sunday, the opposite happened.

But there is boundless support, enthusiasm and admiration for this team and the fans will back at Jackie Robinson Park Monday night when the Jackie Robinson All-Stars will be playing the All-Stars from Rhode Island at 7 p.m.