EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (KABC) -- El Segundo is ready to make its Little League World Series debut Thursday as one of the favorites to take home the title.
The team is hoping to become the eighth California team to win the worldwide title and the first team to do it since 2011. This is only the second time since 1995 that a Little League team from Los Angeles County has advanced to the LLWS, and their journey has been nothing short of amazing.
El Segundo defeated the San Ramon-based Bollinger Canyon Little League team 3-1 in the championship game of the West Region Tournament last week.
The SoCal boys say they are proud to represent El Segundo.
"Every bar in the city, when we play, every bar is putting our game on TV," said El Segundo Little League Manager Danny Boehle. "It's just super incredible. In a town that's 17,000, which is another thing that's unheard of. Most of these towns that had these teams come from 80,000, 100,000 kids they get to choose from ... We don't."
The young athletes say playing in the LLWS is a dream come true and they've worked hard to get there.
"I never would have dreamed we made it here," said Louis Lapp, a pitcher and first and third baseman. "I would have hoped. I thought we would have been really good, but wow, 20 teams in the whole world and we're one of them? Pretty cool."
As the team explores South Williamsport in Pennsylvania, gearing up to take the field for their first game of the tournament against Great Lakes, players say while they are a bit nervous, they're enjoying every bit of it.
"This is one of the biggest games in our season so far, so there's definitely a little nerves, but we're probably more energetic and ready to play this first game," said center fielder Max Baker.
The tournament begins Thursday, Aug. 16 and ends Sunday, Aug. 27.