The Manhattan Beach Little League Junior All Stars lost their opening Junior World Series game in Taylor, Michigan, 3-2 Sunday against the East Region winner, Franklin Park, New York.
The boys still have a shot at playing in the World Series, said coach Jeff Proctor, and would probably have to win their next three games to play in the United States championship on Friday.
Rollie Nichols put MB on the board with a two-run home run but the team couldn't quite rally to beat the East, even with a lead off walk in the bottom of the final inning, said Proctor.
Robert White pitched three innings, giving up two unearned runs; Trevor Franklin threw for three and two thirds innings, giving up one run.
The team plays Monday against the Southwest Region winning team from Corpus Christi, Texas at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Live action is available online.
Five regional champions from the U.S. are competing in one pool while five international teams compete in a second pool.
The 2012 Junior Little League world championship game, which will be televised live on ESPN2, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18.
The junior World Series, which is for youngsters who played in the leagues for 13- and 14-year-olds though some may be 15 now, is considered the "older brother" of the more famous Little League World Series for 12-year-olds played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The Junior World Series got its start in 1981 in Taylor, MI, and this is the 32nd straight year it has been played there.