PATERSON, NJ - In their state championship game on July 18, the Paterson's Riverside Vets baseball team fell behind early and was trailing Midland Park, 4-1. But the Paterson teenagers rallied and eventually won the game in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the last inning. The 15-and-under squad had won the right to play in the Ken Griffey World Series in Oklahoma in August.
But the state title may not be enough to get the team to the World Series. That's because they don't have the money to make the trip, according to Jose Diaz, who manages the Riverside Vets travel baseball program.
 
"It's $8,000 for the flight alone,'' said Diaz. "Right now, I'm looking at buses. We'll see if we can get a better deal that way.''
 

The World Series starts August 2 and time is short, Diaz said state league officials want to know soon if the Paterson players will be able to make the trip, so there's enough time to send another team from New Jersey in their place if they can't.
 
"There's another tournament in upstate New York we can go to,'' said Diaz. "But it's not the same thing. It's not the World Series.''
 
Diaz had filled in as the team's coach during the state tournament because the regular manger, Luis Torres, who had been Paterson Catholic's baseball coach, was away.
 
In the state title game, with the score tied, Tommy Rodriguez lead off the bottom of the seventh with a single. He then stole second and third with no outs. But the Midland Park pitcher bore down and retired the next two hitters. But with two outs, Jose Quinones, known as "Q" drilled a single to left-center to win the game, said the coach. Manny Diaz was the winning pitcher.
 
The other members of the team - all Paterson residents - are Andry Vasquez, Damien Cano, Fernando Santana, Joel Nieves, Joshua Collazo, Lindberg Tremoles, Luis Reyes, Marcus Rivera, Galvis Blanndino, Eric Nunez, Joel Polanco, Joel Torres and Jeri Delgado.
 
Anyone interested in provided financial support for the team to go to the World Series can contact officials at riversidevetsbaseball@gmail.com.