SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Twelve-year-old Logan Douglas picked up the cell phone and spoke to the major league ace as if they were old friends.
''Hey Matt Cain!'' the Little Leaguer from Petaluma, Calif., said with a smile to one of his favorite players on the San Francisco Giants.
When it comes to the Little League World Series, roles are reversed: big leaguers become the adoring fans of the pint-sized players. Cain called to wish Petaluma luck before the U.S. championship game Saturday afternoon against Goodlettsville, Tenn.
The winner advances to World Series title game on Sunday.
''It was kind of awesome that I was talking to him,'' said Douglas, wearing a Giants T-shirt and a smile. ''It was kind of weird, too.''
California coach Trevor Tomei initially took the call and tried to put Cain on speakerphone, but a blimp flying overhead made it difficult to hear. So the boys passed the phone around to each talk to Cain, starting with Douglas.
Outfielder Quinton Gago, 12, said Cain invited the Petaluma boys to AT&T Park to ''hang out with us.''
''It was so sweet just hearing a professional baseball player's voice,'' he said. ''We get to meet him, hang out with him.''
A San Francisco restaurant, Paxti's Pizza, also said it would host Cain and the Petaluma Little Leaguers for a pizza party.
GOMES-TOWN TEAM: Across San Francisco Bay, the Oakland A's have become pretty big fans of Petaluma, too, especially outfielder Jonny Gomes.
Gomes is from Petaluma and his brother has an indoor batting cage in town, where about a half-dozen of the Little Leaguers have trained the past five years. Gomes has also been a financial supporter of the local league.
''It's pretty cool when they're doing. It's historic, it really is. You're talking a pretty small town just north of here. There are three Little League teams in Petaluma, so it's not even the best of the best, it's a third of the best,'' Gomes said this week. ''It's good to see baseball taking a shift in Northern California.''
Gomes said he's turned all of his teammates and coaches into Petaluma fans, too.
''We've got major leaguers sitting around a TV watching 12-year-olds get after it. Hopefully, another hometown kid will be coming up with the A's in a few years.''
Of the 13 Petaluma players, all but two players are Giants fans. Cole Tomei roots for the As, while teammates said Austin Paretti prefers the Reds.
When it comes to a favorite player, there's one guy they can all agree on.
''We all are, we all are'' Jonny Gomes fans, Gago said.
NOTABLE NAMES: The crew from Tennessee got a major-league pick-me-up, too, from Rays ace David Price, who is from Murfreesboro. Price has been rooting on Goodlettsville all week on Twitter. ''Had a great talk with team TN this morning!! These boys are ready for team California tomorrow,'' Price wrote Friday. ''Win that US bracket then on to the next!!'' ... Mario Jaramillo, Panama's ambassador to the United States, attended Saturday afternoon's Panama-Japan game for the international championships. ... Former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek received the Distinguished Little League Graduate Award before the U.S. championship game Saturday afternoon. Varitek played shortstop on the Altamonte Springs, Fla., team that won the U.S. championship in 1984 before losing the World Series title game 6-2 to South Korea. ... Little League held a moment of silence before the award ceremony in honor of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong's family said Saturday that he died at age 82.
HELPING HANDS: The team from Lugazi, Uganda will be getting baseball bats and gloves from the San Antonio, Texas, team that made it to the Little League World Series. The goodwill gesture follows a donation of 20 gloves from the New Castle, Ind., team to Uganda. A clothing drive was also underway back in New Castle. Baseball is an emerging sport in Uganda, and the team's manager has said the families of many of his players can't afford sneakers back home - let alone baseball spikes. None of the players' families could make the expensive trans-Atlantic trip to central Pennsylvania, either. ''It's not just about sports, it's about life, too,'' Texas manager Jack Wideman Jr. said this week when asked about the Texas donations. ''You've got to give back some and we're blessed to be here.''
AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in Oakland contributed to this report.