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I know many parents who can't handle watching their kids in a preseason scrimmage. I can't imagine how they would handle watching their son at the plate in front of 20,000 people on a stage like this.
"Some of us have some butterflies," Liz Ambruester said from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Her son Will is Eastlake Little League's first baseman. The team advanced after its first World Series game on Thursday. "Others of us really, really get nervous. There's a little bit of nail-chewing and maybe a lot of pacing going on."
But Ambruester jokes it's hard to pace when the stands are full.
Will Ambruester was 0-for-2 on the day at the plate when he stepped up in the last inning trying to protect a small lead against the team from Corpus Christi, Texas. It's the moment every parent relishes, yet secretly doesn't really want to watch.
"When he stepped up, I looked over at [my husband] Mike and said 'He's going to get a hit,'" she said. Will delivered a single and drove in an important insurance run. "That was a good high-five moment for Mike and I. A lot of fun." The Washington state champs won 8-4.
Ambruester said it's been a challenge to schedule all this unplanned time off and find ways to pay for these trips across the country following her son the last six weeks, but there is no way she was missing this.
She said the parents couldn't make this trip without great bosses, co-workers and the support of the community, including financial donations from strangers to pay for expenses.
"This group of parents could not be more elated and proud of the accomplishments that our boys have had," she said. "We came here just happy to be here and to get a win under our belt at the World Series. I mean, are you kidding me, we are ecstatic."
The Eastlake All-Stars take on the Connecticut state champs on Sunday in their second game of the tournament.
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