Heroes’ welcome for Petaluma little leaguers

I don’t know what the rest of you sports fans were watching Saturday afternoon.

But in the shaded Tower Grill in Danville, patrons were stuck between two gi-normous flat screens: One showing Ryan Vogelsong pitch at home versus the Altanta Braves, and the other showing Petaluma National battle Tennessee for the national championship of the Little League World Series.

After taking third place in Williamsport, Pa. the little league team will get major league recognition when the Oakland Athletics honor them before Friday night’s game at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Petaluma team will take the field with the A’s for the national anthem before joining their families in luxury suites to watch the A’s play the Red Sox.

Petaluma National had rallied back from a 15-5 deficit Saturday against Tennessee in the bottom of the sixth inning, but lost a shot at the championship by a 24-16 score after Tennessee’s own monster comeback in the top of the seventh.

Petaluma ended up defeating Panama 12-4 to take home third place. Tennessee lost in the championship game to the Kitasuna Little League team from Tokyo, a five-time championship team.

Among Petaluma National’s largest local supporters is A’s outfielder Jonny Gomes, a former-Petaluma little leaguer himself. Gomes is not only supplying the suites for Friday night’s game, but helped raise money for the teams run to Williamsport to cover the families’ transportation and lodging.