19 years after the Little League World Series made mini celebrities out of Todd Frazier, Scott Fisher, Casey Gaynor, Chris Cardone and the rest of the Toms River East American All-Stars a group of kids from Jackson, including Chris Cartnick, Garrett Drew, Tai Mann & R.J Vashey will try and do the same.

The Holbrook Little League All-Stars begin their quest to bring the championship back to Ocean County when they face Fairfield, Connecticut at 3pm today in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in what will be the first game involving teams from the United States.  The game between the Mid-Atlantic and New England regional champions will be televised live on ESPN.

Winning this first game is truly the key to having success in the tournament which features 16 teams. Eight in the U.S. bracket and eight in the International pool.

If Holbrook wins today they don’t play again until Sunday morning when they would face the winner of tonight’s Great Lakes/Southwest matchup featuring teams from Michigan and Texas.  However a Holbrook loss today and they have to come back Saturday in what would be an elimination game in the double elimination tournament.  Once you fall into the loser’s bracket it’s difficult to have success with the pitching rules that are in place,

The 13 players, manager Rob Grano and coaches Jim Osmond and Gene Daddio have lost only one game since All-Star play began in late June and that was to a Manchester team who they then beat twice to capture the District 18 title.

Holbrook rolled through the sectional, state and regional tournaments to arrive in Williamsport as one of the teams to beat in the U.S. bracket.  Meanwhile the Connecticut team they face today is a perfect 18-0 since their odyssey began on the local level so it makes for an interesting opening game.

If the magic continues for the “Jackson 13” then Williamsport, PA will become a second home for their families because the championship game is not until Sunday, August 27.

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