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Emotions hit hard in Williamsport

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Tysheika Daniels watches Little League World Series action from the stands at Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pa.

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BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, August 20, 2017

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Tysheika Daniels is a single mom with five children, so naturally she is a strong woman. She prefers to keep her emotions inside.

When the stresses and hardships of life do get to her, it happens when she is in her car listening to moving music and by herself.

The tears might not come until later for Daniels, who like the other Greenville North State moms is living in the moment and taking a day-to-day approach to being a parent at the Little League World Series. Outfielder Cash Daniels-Moye is Daniels’ only son and he is in his second year with Greenville Little Leagues.

This trip would not be possible without help from many people, and with Daniels that starts with her boss, JW Blair, at her job with Online Information Services. Daniels received some extra money from her work before she left Greenville, and Blair helped her relax with his farewell remarks.

“I told my boss that I was going to get back as soon as I can, but he said: ‘No, I want you to stay the whole 10 days,’” Daniels said Friday about nine hours before North State completed a 6-0 win in its first game at the double-elimination event.

The players and coaches are housed by Little League International at the World Series complex, but parents are on their own and hotels aren’t cheap. Places that would have cost $80 or $90 a night to stay at a few weeks ago can be at least $150 per night during the LLWS.

This also marks the fourth and final tournament for North State, none of which were in Greenville. The Southeast Regional was held in Warner Robins, Ga.

Donations have helped the parents, especially those who do not get paid vacation from their work. A big boost should come soon with a matching $20,000 pledge by Bagelman owner John Grillo.

“This really is a team effort,” team mom Wagner Grubb said.

A great example of the families sticking together happened last fall when Daniels-Moye was still a relative newcomer to Greenville Little Leagues and his family had to evacuate their housing when Hurricane Matthew hit eastern North Carolina.

They live in the Greenville Housing Authority area of West Meadowbrook that saw various levels of flooding. In the aftermath of the hurricane, the Hardee family of North State shortstop Carson Hardee stepped in and welcomed them to their home for two weeks as recovery efforts were happening at West Meadowbrook.

These kind of moments are what Daniels likes to describe as “positive energy” associated with youth baseball. That includes when Daniels-Moye was introduced to the sport at age 4 through T-ball with Community Christian and he also played with the Jackie Robinson Baseball League before joining Little League.

“Because of baseball, look what has happened,” Daniels said. “Morganton is the trip (for the state tournament) when I decided that I don’t regret not one day the sacrifices that I have made for him. All I am concerned about is how he feels and to keep him grounded and away from the streets.

“Anything that I can do to keep him on a positive level, I don’t care how much it costs or how far I have to go.”

Grubb said families spent about $3,500 each this summer by the start of the World Series on Thursday. Donation money covered most of their hotel stays for the first five nights in Williamsport, but they will likely have to regroup in the coming days to work out more funds and distribution.

Coach Brian Fields is cognizant of the parents’ dedication and the support shown to the team by Pitt County businesses and residents. He has tried to give the players as much free time as possible at the Little League World Series, stressing that they need to make sure to save time for their parents.

“Greenville is a baseball community and they have been behind us and it’s been amazing to see,” Fields said. “These boys do thrive off that a little bit.”

Daniels-Moye has soaked in this experience in similar fashion as the other players, saying great memories have been made already during interactions with foreign players. But he also is aware that his mom is in the stands for games.

“I know she’s proud of how far I have come,” he said.

At the grandest stage that youth baseball can provide, emotions are aplenty at this point in a summer-long journey. That’s true even for Daniels.

“To reach here, I am just ecstatic for him,” she said. “And for him to be as humble as he is, it just makes it all the better.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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