Michigan's Bakich, Whose 2-Strike Message Helped Inspire LLWS Run, Wishes Loudoun South Luck

August 10 - The Loudoun South American players and coaches received a surprise message on the eve of their departure to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. 

Michigan coach Erik Bakich, whose ‘team at-bat’ approach with two strikes has helped inspire the South Riding’s postseason run, heard his message had reached the team and placed a video call to them after last night’s practice. 

“Congratulations, you’re going to the World Series!” said Bakich, who in June led the Wolverines to within a win of their first national championship since 1962. “I’m really excited for you guys and I can’t thank you enough for your support during our run to the College World Series and just know that Michigan baseball is behind you guys at the Little League World Series.

“We’re excited for you and I couldn’t be more pumped to be in your corner and cheering you on.”

Bakich’s message to the 11- and 12-year-olds, who comprise Virginia’s first team to advance to the LLWS since 1994, was to capture the moment and continue to have fun.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I told our team, the best thing you can do is go out there while you’re in Williamsport and enjoy every minute of it,” Bakich said. “I would guess that you got to this point by having a ton of fun and with smiles on your faces, being aggressive, taking chances out on that field, and just being tough. 

“There’s no way you made it this far without being aggressive and tough, so go out there and do those two things. But make sure you play this game with a big gigantic smile on your face.”