President Bush Attends Southwest Championship Game, Lafayette Little League From Lafayette, La., Advances to 2005 Little League Baseball World SeriesWILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 13, 2005) – President of the United States, George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Marvin Norcross Stadium at the Little League Baseball Southwestern Region Leadership Training Center, in Waco, Texas, Saturday night to watch Lafayette Little League from Lafayette, La., became the fourth U.S. region representative, and 12th overall, to earn a berth in the 2005 Little League Baseball World Series by winning the Southwest championship.
Lafayette Little League defeated Bryant Athletic Little League from Bryant, Ark., 4-1, to win the region championship. Lafayette Little League finished the eight-team regional tournament with a 4-1 record, and will represent the Southwest Region in Williamsport, Pa.
President Bush, who was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Southwest championship game, played Little League Baseball in Midland, Texas, in the 1950s. He became the first sitting president to visit the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the world championship game on Aug. 26, 2001.
Lafayette Little League catcher Jordan Romero caught the toss from President Bush and proceeded to make the night even more memorable, going 2-for-2, with a run batted in, and a run scored. Lafayette Little League scored single runs in the second and third innings, and tallied two more runs in the fifth inning. Romero drove in the first run of the game, and scored the final run on a two-run single by Brenn Conrad.
Jace Conrad was the winning pitcher, throwing a five-hitter for Lafayette Little League. Bryant Athletic Little League pitchers Dylan Pritchett and Ben Wells combined to strike out 12 batters, and allow seven hits. This was the third straight defeat for Bryant Athletic Little League in the Southwest championship game.
Teams from Louisiana have never played in the Little League Baseball World Series championship game. Lafayette Little League’s participation in the World Series tournament marks the fourth time the state has been represented, and the first time a team from the city of Lafayette has qualified.
Little League International works with the White House during the spring and summer to administer President Bush’s Tee Ball on the South Lawn program. Thirteen Tee Ball on the South Lawn games have been played since President Bush began the initiative in 2001 as a way to increase the popularity of baseball among young families. For more information on the Tee Ball on the South Lawn program, visit www.whitehouse.gov or www.littleleague.org.
Lafayette Little League joins Owensboro Southern Little League of Owensboro, Ky.; Whalley Little League of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; Davenport Northwest Little League of Davenport, Iowa; Maitland Little League of Maitland, Fla.; 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.
The next berths in the Little League Baseball World Series will be decided on Sunday, as the New England Tournament in Bristol, Conn., and the West Region Tournament in San Bernardino, Calif., are scheduled to end.
The remaining U.S. region finals, which will be televised live on ESPN or ESPN2, are: 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.