Maitland Little League From Maitland, Fla., Wins Southeast Championship, Advances to 2005 Little League Baseball World SeriesWILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 12, 2005) – A team from Maitland, Fla., became the first U.S. region representative, and eighth overall, to earn a berth in the 2005 Little League Baseball World Series by winning the Southeast championship on Friday night at Arnold S. White, Sr. Stadium on the Little League Baseball Southern Region Headquarters complex in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Maitland Little League defeated Buckhead Little League from Buckhead, Ga., 3-1, to win the championship game. Maitland Little League finished the eight-team regional tournament, with a 4-1 record.
Maitland pitcher Dante Bichette, Jr., son of former Major League Baseball player Dante Bichette, threw a four-hitter with eight strikeouts, bettering the seven-hit, seven-strikeout effort of Buckhead pitcher Clayton Lau.
Each team scored a first-inning run, and the game remained tied, 1-1, into the bottom of the fifth inning. Bichette reached on and throwing error to start the fifth inning, and later scored the eventual winning run on a base hit to center field by Michael Tomlinson. A single to center field by Tanner Stanley, son of former Major League Baseball player Mike Stanley, scored Tomlinson with the final run of the game.
Teams representing the state of Florida have never won Little League Baseball World Series, but have played in World Series 20 times and reached the World Series Championship eight times. The most recent occasion came in 2003 when East Boynton Beach Little League was defeated by Musashi-Fuchu Little League of Tokyo, Japan, 10-1. Maitland Little League will be making its first appearance in the Little League Baseball World Series.
Maitland Little League joins Arabian American Little League of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Brateevo Little League of Moscow, Russia; Seguro Social Little League of Mexicali, Mexico; Pabao Little League of Curacao; Los Leones Little League of Valencia, Venezuela; Chiba City Little League of Japan; and Central East Little League of Mangilao-Barrigada, Guam, as participants in the 2005 Little League Baseball World Series.
The Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds will be played in Williamsport, Aug. 19-28. Sixteen teams from around the world will take part.
ABC will televise the Little League Baseball World Series U.S. championship game on Aug. 27, at 3:30 p.m. The world championship game of the Little League Baseball World Series can be seen live on ABC at 3:30 p.m., on Aug. 28. Twenty-seven other World Series games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2 for a total of 29 games on national television. Three other games will be televised in ESPN Deportes marking the first time that all 32 games of the Little League Baseball World Series tournament will be on television.
The next three berths in the Little League Baseball World Series will be decided on Saturday, as the Canada Tournament in Timmins, Ontario, the Great Lakes Tournament in Indianapolis, and the Southwest Tournament in Waco, Texas, are scheduled to end.
President George W. Bush, the first Little League graduate to be elected President of the United States, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Marvin Norcross Stadium at the Little League Baseball Southwestern Region Leadership Training Center in Waco, prior to the Southwest Region championship game between Lafayette Little League of Lafayette, La., and Bryant Athletic Little League of Bryant, Ark.. ESPN will carry the game live at 9 p.m. Eastern U.S. time.
The remaining U.S. region finals, which will be televised live on ESPN or ESPN2, are: Great Lakes (Indianapolis, Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPN); New England (Bristol, Conn., Sunday, 3 p.m., ESPN); West (San Bernardino, Calif., Sunday, 10 p.m., ESPN2); Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., Monday, 7 p.m., ESPN2); Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., Monday, 9 p.m., ESPN2). All game times are Eastern U.S. time.
Little League Baseball is the largest organized youth sports program in the world, with 2.7 million participants in all 50 states and more than 80 other countries.