The city, right out of central casting for a Frank Capra movie on small-town life, with flags draping the porches of every other house along tree-lined streets, is seemingly the perfect place to host one of the last slices of small town Americana, Little League baseball.
More than 300,000 people are expected to pile in to 10,000-seat Lamade Stadium or 5,000-seat Volunteer Stadium over the 10 days and 32 games of the Series. There is no admission charge, but organizers have had to institute a lottery system for tickets.
Security is tight around the 66-acre Little League complex, where the kids not only practice but also live during the Series. Everyone - even the players - wears an identification badge with his or her picture on it.
But the atmosphere is a friendly one, as each of the 16 teams has a pair of "uncles" - local volunteers who take care of the team's needs from transportation to making sure the kids get sized up for their new duds.
"This is a lot better than Connecticut," said Tyler. "And the food's a lot better, too. But home food is the best."
Soon enough, the South Caroline boys will return to the world of home cooking, chores and schoolwork. Years from now, as assistant coach Milton Nagle said, they may remember little from this week about the actual games they're going to play.
But they'll likely never forget the two weeks or so when they were on top of the world.
"I'm glad they're getting the recognition," said Nagle, the director of administrative school services for the Caroline County school system and the father of J.T., a right fielder on the team.
"It's nice to be recognized for excellence. Too much of what happens in the world that gets the [big] headlines is bad. It's nice when you can say, `Look, this is what's good in the world.' And baseball is part of the heart and soul of America."
At a glance
What: Little League World Series
Where: South Williamsport, Pa.
When: Through Aug. 29
Maryland team: South Caroline Little League, Preston