Grosse Pointe Little League team just one win away from punching ticket to LLWS

What kid didn’t grow up dreaming of getting to play in front of a national audience on ESPN?

For a group of youngsters from Grosse Pointe, that dream continued on Friday. The Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Little League team advanced to the final game of the Great Lakes Regional. The team will play the regional championship game against Hinsdale (Ill.) Little League at 5 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

A win for the little leaguers from Grosse Pointe and they move on to the Little League World Series next week in Williamsport, PA. It will also mark the second time in five seasons that a team from Michigan represented the Great Lakes Region, which has been around since 2001.

Ironically, it was this very same little league program that carried the Great Lakes flag back in 2013. At the time, they were the first Michigan team to make the LLWS in 15 years when the Central Region was still in existence. The 2013 edition GP Woods-Shores ended up losing all three of their games in Williamsport that summer.

On Friday, Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores beat West Side Little League (Hamilton, OH) 11-3 on Friday. They worked themselves to a 4-1 lead, but saw it dwindle to just a one-run lead in the fifth inning. Michigan then pounced on Ohio for seven runs in the inning, giving them plenty of breathing room for the sixth and final inning.

Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores began the double-elimination tournament with a 10-2 loss in the opening round (against the Ohio team they eliminated on Friday) and has rattled off three straight wins since then. They have outscored opponents 25-6 during their resilient run.

The Great Lakes Regional championship game can be seen on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN. It’s one winner-take-all game, even though the Hinsdale LL team from Illinois is unblemished.

The Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores club will be looking to become just the ninth team from Michigan to play in Williamsport. The first eight teams are a combined 6-16. Half of those wins came courtesy of Hamtramck National Little League back in 1957, the only LLWS title for the state of Michigan and one of two titles overall between the Central and Great Lakes Regions.