ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After a historic run at the Regional Finals in Waco, the Wylie Little League baseball team returned home Wednesday morning and were greeted by hundreds of family, friends and the Abilene community.
After a 3-0 victory over Colorado on Monday, the Wylie team punched their ticket to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
They became the first Abilene team to ever do so.
However, they don’t have much time before they board a plane and head to the biggest stage in Little League Baseball, and each member is spending their time off very differently.
Adrienne Ruffin, a proud mother, had tears rolling down her cheeks as she watched her son hop off the Wylie bus.
“We watched them grow up as young kids,” Ruffin said. “Starting out in Little League, they’ve worked so hard and are so full of determination.”
Her son Blaze wasn’t able to play because of an injury.
Plenty of fans showed up to watch their favorite local All-Stars return home, including catcher Ella Bruning’s friend group and some of her biggest fans.
“It’s really awesome to see, again, how far they made it,” Ella’s friend, Ava said.
They also had plenty of high praise for the young backstop.
“I always say to her, if she ever gets famous one day to remember me,” another friend, Addison, said. “I know she will one day. It’s awesome to watch her play because she is so talented.”
Ella’s presence behind home plate even caught the attention of Major League Baseball and Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, who posted some fire emojis on MLB’s Instagram post. She was also featured in an article on MLB.com.
However, Ella is still soaking up the final play of the clinching game on Monday, an incredible diving catch by Wylie’s second baseman to end the game. One catch that made it to number three of ESPN’s Top 10 Plays.
“That won the game for us,” Bruning said. “That meant we were going to Pennsylvania to play in the World Series, which is awesome.”
But until then, Ella has a few things to catch up on.
“Me and my mom are going to watch a movie that came out at midnight,” Bruning said. “We’re going to watch it after we get home and take a little nap first.”
Ella, enjoy that nap. Y’all definitely deserve it.
Relaxation isn’t on the agenda for assistant coach Clay Parrish and his son, Cason, though.
When asked what they planned to do over their days off, Cason quickly jumped in and said “work.”
Cason helps out with his dad’s concrete business when they are not on the diamond.
“Me owning my own company, Cason and I have to get some work done before we fly out,” Clay said.
Head coach Reggie Regala is sending a message to anyone looking to get involved in the housing market.
“I’ve got to sell my house. So, anyone out there, come buy my house,” Regala laughingly said.
However, the Wylie Little League has unfinished business to take care of. They not only want to make it to Williamsport, but they want to win it all.
“We call them the ‘Comeback Kids,'” Ruffin said. “They fight and come back and win it. It’s been their dream to play at Williamsport.”
The “Comeback Kids” will fly out on Friday, before having their first World Series matchup on Aug. 20.