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Youth Baseball Team Stranded at LAX Amid Southwest Flight Delays, Cancellations

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A youth baseball team headed for a game in St. Louis was among the hundreds of passengers left stranded at LAX Thursday morning amid a growing number of Southwest Airlines flight delays and cancellations.

About 45 people, including coaches and parents, were traveling with the West Covina team of players 8 years old and under.

The team was traveling from Los Angeles International Airport to St. Louis to take part in a national baseball tournament, but the kids -- several still wearing their uniforms -- ended up sleeping on the airport floor and chairs instead.

One parent said they were hoping to board an 8 a.m. flight, but that didn’t happen either and now they are worried they will miss their game scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Some passengers remained at the airport by mid afternoon and were hoping to be able to make it to the rest of the tournament.

The trouble began when Southwest suffered an hourlong “system outage” Wednesday, which led to a nationwide ground stop for all of the airline's flights.

The airline ended up canceling nearly 700 flights Wednesday due to the technical issues, a statement from the company said Thursday.

“Most” of the systems were back online Thursday morning, but another 300 flights had to be canceled to manage lingering flight disruptions across the system, according to the statement.

“I want to start off by once again apologizing to our Customers and reiterating that your experience throughout the past 24 hours is not the service you should expect from Southwest Airlines,” an earlier statement read.

The statement also said the company would work with “every affected customer” to make things right.

There was an "incredible backlog" of customers and bags, and crews in the wrong place, Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven said midday Thursday.

"The recovery is starting off slowly," Van de Ven said in a video posted to Twitter.

There were 335 cancellations, he said.

"We had customers that spent a long amount of time in the airports, and some of them didn't get out last night, and some of them still aren't out," he said. "I appreciate how incredibly frustrating that can be."

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KTLA's Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.

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