MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Coon Rapids-Andover baseball team is moving on at the Little League World Series after beating Bowling Green (Kentucky) 2-1 on Friday.
The two teams were originally scheduled to play Thursday in South Williamsport, Pa., but the game was rained out. Minnesota, representing the Midwest Region, scored two runs in the top of the second inning to take the early 2-0 lead over Kentucky.
Coon Rapids-Andover got its two runs on a triple by Tyler Phillips that scored Dylan Bloom. Phillips scored on a wild pitch while Maddie Freking was batting. Phillips' triple was one of just two hits for Minnesota in the game.
Kentucky got its lone run in the bottom of the third. Coon Rapids-Andover got the win despite committing four errors on defense.
Jameson Kuznia got the win on the mound for Minnesota. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out five. He also had 15 first-pitch strikes. Kuznia was the hero for Minnesota in the Midwest Region championship, hitting a go-ahead three-run homer that would lead Coon Rapids-Andover over Iowa to get to the Little League World Series.
Shortstop Jaxon Knutson made the defensive play of the game Friday, diving to snag a line drive up the middle with two runners out and two out in the fifth inning. The catch ended Kentucky's scoring threat with the tying run at second.
Coon Rapids-Andover is the first team to represent Minnesota at the Little League World Series since New Hope-Plymouth in 2010.
Minnesota advances to face the team from the Southeast Region out of South Riding, Virginia. That game will be played Sunday at a time to be announced. The tournament is double elimination.
Back home, a group of cheering fans crowded Boulevard Bar and Grill in Coon Rapids to cheer on the team.
Greg Garbow's nephew Jaxon Knutson made an unbelievable catch. "Making that diving catch, he's going to be on ESPN tonight."
And the young player is setting quite the example for his cousin who is 11 years old.
"It was just incredible seeing all those plays back-to-back," says Griffin Garbow.
"All the younger ones, 7 year olds saying were going to be there too! And the 11 year olds are more pumped than ever because they want to make it back," adds Greg. "They're looking up to 'em big time because they can see that it can happen."
At just twelve years old, they've found themselves on the diamond on a world stage. "It's so cool to know all those kids too. They're just a great team," says Kate Garbow.
At twelve years old, they've made it where most will never go.
"I think that's history for us," says Greg. "I think that's the first Minnesota team to get a win in Williamsport. I believe maybe the 1963 team did it. I don't think anyone in a long time has. It's crazy."