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Staten Island Little Leaguers Suffer First Loss

Staten Island's South Shore All-Stars finally lost a game Saturday in a 6-3 defeat to a team from Georgia.
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Staten Island's South Shore All-Stars finally lost a game Saturday in a 6-3 defeat to Warner Robins, Ga., in their second game at the Little League World Series.

The team still has a chance to win the international title if they lock up a win tomorrow against a team from Iowa. The 6-3 loss broke a 19-game winning streak for the team.

Just two days ago, the South Shore National team crushed Mercer Island, a Washington state squad representing the Northwest, by a score of 10-2 as former Yankee Mike Mussina, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a cheering squad of New Yorkers rooted them on to victory in the first round of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.

"It means a lot," said Peter Lunarola, a parent of a little leaguer, who watched the game at a Nucci's restaurant on Staten Island. "They practice hard. They play hard. It's just unbelieveable."

On Monday, the Staten Island squad racked up a 4-0 win against New Jersey's Somerset Hills squad in a nationally televised ESPN showdown to earn its berth in the World Series, and the right to face 16 of the best Little League squads in the world – eight from the United States and eight from other countries.

The group of 11- and 12-year-olds were selected for the all-star team in mid-June after the local Little League season ended. In 2006, the Mid-Island All-Star squad from Staten Island reached the World Series. But they lost three straight games and eliminated.

The last time a New York City Little League team won the World Series was in 1964.