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Pitcher Strikes Out 17 to lead Owensboro (Ky.) Southern Little League to Great Lakes Regional Championship

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 9, 2004) – Owensboro Southern Little League pitcher Cole Sturgeon threw a one-hitter and struck out 17 of the 19 batters he faced as the Kentucky state champions won the Great Lakes Region Tournament, Monday on Stokely Field at the Ruben F. Glick Little League Center in Indianapolis.

The Owensboro Southern team became the ninth to earn a berth in the 2004 Little League Baseball World Series, defeating Highland Little League, from Highland, Ind., 3-0, in the championship game. Owensboro Southern finished the six-team tournament with a 6-0 record, and Sturgeon’s 17 strikeouts were a new Great Lakes Regional championship game record.

The Great Lakes Regional champions scored single runs in the second, third, and fourth innings as Nick Laster, Jake Tanner, and Luke Daugherty each drove in runs off of Highland pitcher Kenny Mahala.

A team from Kentucky has won the Little League Baseball World Series once in three appearances. In the 2001 world championship game, Valley Sports American Little League from Louisville defeated Sendai Higashi Little League of Japan, 1-0.

Other teams that have already qualified are: Davenport Northwest Little League of Davenport, Iowa; Morganton Little League of Morganton, N.C.; Kutno Little League of Kutno, Poland; Curundu Little League of Panama City, Panama; Shou Tien Little League of Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei; Saipan Little League of Saipan, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands; Pabao Little League of Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles; and Linda Vista Little League of Guadalupe, Mexico.

The Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds will be played in Williamsport, Aug. 20-29. Sixteen teams from around the world will take part.

ABC will televise the Little League Baseball World Series U.S. championship game on Aug. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The world championship game of the Little League Baseball World Series can be seen live on ABC at 6:30 p.m., on Aug. 29. Twenty-five other World Series games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2 for a total of 27 games on national television.

The next berth in the Little League Baseball World Series will be decided on Tuesday in Waco, Texas when Bryant Little League of Bryant, Arkansas plays Lamar National Little League from Richmond, Texas for the Southwest Region Tournament championship.

The remaining U.S. region finals are: Southwest (Waco, Texas, Tuesday, ESPN2, 8 p.m.); Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., Wednesday, ESPN2, 8 p.m.); West (San Bernardino, Calif., Thursday, ESPN2, 8 p.m.); New England (Bristol, Conn., Saturday, ESPN, 8 p.m.); Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., Sunday, ESPN2, 5 p.m.).

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 70 other countries.