WILLIAMSPORT, PA - AUGUST 24: Catcher Matt Stone #5 of the the Westport, CT team looks on as Nick Mora #5 of the West team hits a first inning home run during the United States Championship game on August 24, 2013 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
If the Eastlake Little League team beats the team from Tokyo, Japan in the Little League World Series championship game, something awfully awesome will happen.
Both Chula Vista and Tokyo will have won two of the last five LLWS titles. Think about that for a second.
Chula Vista's population is about 252,000. Tokyo's population is about 13.2 million. So, as you can see, Japan has a slightly larger player pool to choose from. The fact the kids from Chula Vista are even in this situation, let alone a good bet to win, is amazing.
Both teams have made it through South Williamsport undefeated. Both were favored from the very beginning to get to Sunday's title game. Both teams are made up of 11-to-13-year-old boys who have to be on a ridiculous adrenaline high, which is not good for sleep, and a lack of sleep is not good for athletic performance.
Not a problem, Eastlake head coach Doug Holman told me Saturday night, after all the players had actually dozed off, before 11:30 p.m. Eastern time (which is another amazing accomplishment!).
"I gathered them all around, and I just kind of talked to them all," said Holman. "I got them all to be quiet, and said, I've just got to tell you guys something. I'm not even going to call you boys. You're men right now. You have all performed admirably. You have represented your league, your community, your city, you've done a phenomenal job. You're the champions of the United States. Let's get one more win."
Holman has a (literal) ace in the hole for the title game. He'll throw his son, 6-foot-4 Grant Holman, who opened the tournament by tossing just the second 7-inning no-hitter in Little League World Series history.
Japan has a couple of options on the mound, but will likely offer up a pitcher in the same mold as Chad Knight, the Connecticut starter who got roughed up by Eastlake in Saturday's 12-1 win.
"We've got a great group of guys," said Holman. "They're disciplined hitters who don't get overwhelmed. We'll be ready for it."
With his players asleep, Holman and his coaches were actually going off to watch video of Japan's games and formulate a scouting report.
If Eastlake does end up winning, you won't see Doug out in the inevitable dog pile. He's a big Minnesota Twins fan, so Holman will take a cue from former manager Tom Kelly. He'll let his players enjoy the spotlight and stay out of it. For them, but also a little for himself.
"If we win the game, I'll probably cry, or come close to crying," said Holman.
And what will the kids do? They've got that part covered.
"They've made it clear," said Holman, "they want to meet Kate Upton."
Hey, she's been romantically linked to Justin Verlander, Mark Sanchez and Blake Griffin. It could happen!