These Little League World Series players all love fellow Texan Brandon Belt
The Little League World Series has been well underway for almost a week now, with teams from all across the world coming together in Williamsport, Pa., to compete for the title of best Little League team on the planet.
The team representing the Southwest Region -- the Lufkin Little League All-Stars from Lufkin, Texas -- have had an especially stellar tournament so far. They defeated Michigan and Connecticut in its first two games, before falling to undefeated North Carolina on Wednesday in extra innings. The kids from Lufkin face Connecticut again on Thursday night for a chance at a rematch with North Carolina in the U.S. championship game on Saturday.
But there's more to the Lufkin Little Leaguers than their impressive on-field performance: They've got a strong connection to San Francisco Giants All-Star Brandon Belt.
A Little League World Series team rallying around a local star isn't particularly rare. Perhaps the most memorable example of this was in 2009, when nearly every player from the South Shore Little League All-Stars from Staten Island, N.Y., named local hero
Belt, meanwhile, grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas, about a 25-minute drive north of Lufkin, where Team Southwest began its journey to Williamsport.
Check out the clip above to hear why the Lufkin kids love Belt, the times they've met the Giants first baseman, and their favorite non-Belt players.