PETALUMA (CBS SF) – Fundraising efforts are under way to send the families of the Petaluma National Little League team members to the World Series games in South Williamsport, Pa.

The Petaluma team, the West Region champion, plays the New England Region champion team from Fairfield, Conn., on Thursday at noon Pacific time. The winner will play again at 11 a.m. Pacific time on Sunday.

There are eight teams from the United States and eight international teams competing in the series, which ends with a championship game on Aug. 26.

Little League International covers the travel expenses of the players and coaches, but not the players’ families.

Local restaurants, including Beyond the Glory Sports Bar and Grill, are donating a percentage of their profits to the team members’ families, and Oakland A’s player Jonny Gomes, a Petaluma native, has said he will contribute to the fundraising effort.

Boulevard 14 Cinemas in downtown Petaluma will show Thursday’s noon game on its giant screen. The $15 tickets are part of the fundraising efforts, and are available at the box office and on

The Petaluma National Little League estimates it will cost a minimum of $2,500 per family member to attend the World Series. Donations are being accepted on its website via PayPal or by sending a check to Petaluma National Little League, P.O. Box 672, Petaluma, Ca., 94953.

More than 4,000 Little League teams across the world had a chance to play in the World Series, and only 16 teams remain.

The Petaluma National team defeated a team from Hawaii on Saturday in San Bernardino 7-5 to win the West Region title. Hawaii was trailing 7-4 in the top of the sixth inning but scored two runs and had the tying run on base.

However, the Hawaii player who scored what would have been the sixth run was called out after he failed to touch third base on his way to home plate. That call ended the game and secured the Petaluma team’s victory.

Little League teams play six innings unless the score is tied.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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