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Fourth Inning Key as Redmond North (Wash.) Little League Qualifies for 2004 Little League Baseball World Series

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 11, 2004) – Redmond North Little League of Redmond, Wash., was protecting a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning of Wednesday’s Northwest Region Tournament championship game at Al Houghton Stadium, on the complex of the Little League Baseball Western Region headquarters in San Bernardino, Calif., and with a combination of clutch pitching, and solid hitting, made the plays that earned the state of Washington its second straight berth in the Little League Baseball World Series.

Redmond North Little League defeated West Valley Little League, from Eagle, Idaho, 6-3, in the championship game as starting pitcher Ryan Beliel threw a complete game, and Redmond North capitalized on West Valley’s defensive miscues.

After West Valley Little League loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fourth inning, Beliel walked in a run, but was able to avoid a big inning by striking out the next batter, and inducing a pair of groundouts. With Redmond now leading, 2-1, Ryan Henselman started the bottom of the fourth inning with a single to center field that was misplayed. The two-base error put Henselman on third base. After a ground out and a walk to Lars Moi, Henselman started a four-run rally as he scored on a throwing error by West Valley’s catcher. A walk to Kelby McCorkle put two runners on base and set up Beliel, who helped himself with a 2-run single to left field. Later in the inning, Beliel made the score, 6-1, scoring on a wild pitch.

Redmond North finished the six-team tournament with a 4-2 record, while West Valley also ended the tournament with a 4-2 record. In the loss, West Valley pitcher Nik Buich hit a solo home run.

Teams from Washington have reached the Little League Baseball World Series five times, the most recent in 2003 when a team from Richland made the 16-team field. The only time Washington has played for the world championship, National Little League of Kirkland defeated Pu-tzu, Chinese Taipei, 6-0.

The 10 teams that have already qualified for the 2004 Little League Baseball World Series are: Lamar National Little League of Richmond, Texas; Owensboro Southern Little League of Owensboro, Ky.; 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 Thursday in San Bernardino, Calif., when Green Valley Little League of Henderson, Nev., plays Conejo Valley East Little League from Thousand Oaks, Calif., for the West Region Tournament championship on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.

The remaining U.S. region finals are: New England (Bristol, Conn., Saturday, ESPN, 8 p.m.); Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., Sunday, ESPN2, 5 p.m.).

International regional championships yet to be decided are: Transatlantic (Kutno, Poland, Friday), and Canada (Brossard, Quebec, Saturday).

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.