The North Carolina Little Leaguers from Greenville have received much praise representing the Southeast region and tallying three straight World Series wins.
Some of the best of the plaudits came from their most recent opponent. Texas manager Bud Maddux, whose team hadn’t lost all summer until it fell 2-1 Wednesday to North Carolina, told reporters after the game that the Greenville team is clearly one of the best in the tournament.
“There’s no question about it,” Maddux said. “They’re undefeated and in the (U.S.) championship.”
Another reporter asked whether North Carolina’s Matthew Matthijs, who struck out 12 of the 14 Texas batters he faced Wednesday, was the best pitcher his team had seen all year.
“He’s pretty good,” Maddux replied. “If he’s not the best, what Bum Phillips said, it don’t take long to call the roll.”
As the players have advanced further through the tournament in Williamsport, Pa., people back home in North Carolina have pointed more and more support in their direction.
Gov. Roy Cooper saluted the team on Twitter after its perfect opening game against the Midwest on Friday.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest congratulated the team after its third win, which punched a ticket to the U.S. bracket championship game set for Saturday.
“They are living the dream right now, and North Carolina stands behind them,” Forest wrote on Facebook Thursday morning.
The Carolina Hurricanes also made a rare exception to tweet about baseball instead of hockey.
Back in the team’s home turf, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office issued a proud tweet.