HOUSTON -

It's the kind of loss that's still worth celebrating -- a Houston little league team, the Post Oak Sluggers, lost by just one run Sunday night to the Collier Township Cartiers in the National Championship game in Livermore, California.

The boys played steadily all week, sweeping a 3-0 record against opponents, but tonight they fell short of a championship win after their 5-4 loss to the Cartiers, a team from outside Pittsburgh.

Family and friends watched the game on a large projection screen at El Patio Restaurant on Westheimer. Even after the game, the room maintained a jovial mood, with kids smiling at reporter's cameras and hopping from table to table to socialize.

The president of the league emphasized the talent of his team and the effort and skill that brought them to the championship game.

"They gave a great effort. It's been five weeks of tough ball. These boys have really been playing hard," League President Allen Crosswell said.

He added that the Cartiers were a tough challenger, as good a team as the Post Oak, and a team that played even better on Sunday night.

Crosswell celebrated the talent and legacy of the Post Oaks team.

"We put out some good baseball players in Post Oak. The number one draft pick in Major League Baseball this year came out of Post Oak little league," he said.

The Collier Township Cartiers will go on to play in the Little League World Series Monday night.