Gio Gonzalez heard the familiar, piercing cheers while standing on the pitcher's mound, coming all the way from Section 211 of Roger Dean Stadium. Gonzalez, 26, felt a small dose of the mortification any Little Leaguer could relate to: His mother would not stop yelling his name.

"They were definitely in the top of the stands," Gonzalez said. "My parents, I had to tell them, 'Turn it down up there. We're all grown men now. This ain't Khoury League anymore.' "