Iowa Little League World Series Team Wins Opener, Steals Hearts [VIDEO]
[UPDATE] Sunday night's game was rained out and will be played Monday evening at 6 o'clock Iowa time.
A team from Iowa hadn't won an opening round game in decades. That changed as a mom battling cancer watched her son hit a home run during a live television interview.
A Little League team from Johnston, Iowa captured the Midwest Region and Friday they started play in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. What a day it would turn out to be.
Iowa pulled off a surprising 5-1 win over a team from Chula Vista, California. That's the same city that won the Little League World Series just five years ago. Iowa's victory marked the first time a team from the Hawkeye State had won an opening round game in the Little League World Series since 1975.
This one was extra special for Johnston team member J.T. Garcia. His mom, Jen, is fighting pancreatic cancer. Long ago, the team dedicated the entire season to her. In the opening round game in Pennsylvania, as her son came to bat in the 5th inning, ESPN interviewed Jen on live television. What happened next was pure magic... or perhaps something much greater.
After the game, mom and son were all smiles.
Johnston's next opponent is a squad from Bowling Green, Kentucky. First pitch is scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. (Iowa time) on ESPN2. You can bet J.T.'s mom will be there, cheering loudly.