It will undoubtedly still go down as one of the best weeks of their lives.
The Taney Dragons have walked around a stadium, treated like 5-foot-something baseball gods. They have spent afternoons playing ball, nights hanging out in dorm rooms with their best friends, and - to the extent they've realized it - energized an entire city watching them with high hopes back home.
"Seven thousand teams in the country - we finished third," said Steve Bandura, father of catcher Scott Bandura, after the 6-5 loss Thursday night. "We fought back. We always fight back."
Chicago's Jackie Robinson West, a fellow inner-city team that missed the series by a game last year, will compete for the national championship Saturday against an all-star Las Vegas squad.