Va. Little League Team Advances to World Series for the First Time in 25 Years

For the first time in 25 years, a Virginia team is headed to the Little League World Series.

Loudoun South Little League defeated a team from Georgia to advance to the big tournament Wednesday night.

The team of mostly 12-year-old players won the Southeast regional Wednesday night, advancing to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The last time a Virginia team made it was in 1994.

"It was just a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Liam Thyen, a Loudoun South Little League player, via FaceTime.

"It's a little bit surreal to be honest with you," said Alan Bowden, the team's coach. "I'm excited for the kids ... I'm just thrilled for them that they're going to get an experience that they're going to remember for the rest of their lives."

As the team headed back home from Georgia, a celebration was waiting for them in Loudoun County. The community calls them the Big Red Machine.

"Basically, everyone on the team can hit and we're a really good defensive team," said Michael Bowden, another player.

Thyen closed out the game by throwing three strikes to seal the victory.

"I was prepared, I just couldn't wait to be on ESPN and be pitching and end the game with the strike out," Liam said. "It was awesome."

His mom, Michelle Thyen, was excited too, even though her voice is nearly gone from all the cheering.

"This team has so much heart and I think part of why everybody's falling in love with this team along the way is because every single player contributes," she said.

The team returns to practice Friday night and will play their first game of the Little League World Series on Thursday. 

Even though getting to Williamsport is a dream come true, their sights are set on more wins. 

"Of course we’re just happy to get there, but once you get there, we want to win," said Alan.

"I'm so excited for what's to come and I can't wait," Liam said.

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