Seventh-Inning Home Run Sends Lamar National Little League Back To Little League Baseball World Series for Second Consecutive Year
The game-winning hit earned Lamar National Little League its second-straight trip to the Little League Baseball World Series. It is the 16th time since the start of Little League regional tournament play that a league has repeated as regional champion.
Lamar National finished the eight-team tournament with a 5-0 record by defeating Bryant Little League of Bryant, Ark., for the second time in the tournament. The same two teams also played for the Southwest Regional championship in 2003.
The game was scoreless into the fourth inning until Bryant Little League starting pitcher Kaleb Jobe keyed a two-run rally with a solo home run. An RBI single by Jonathon Lowery accounted for the second Arkansas run. In the top of the fifth inning, Grichuk, who pitched the last three innings to get the mound win, hit a two- run home run that tied the game. He is the only player on the Lamar National team that played for the Southwest Regional champions in Williamsport last year.
Teams from Texas have played in the Little League Baseball World Series 14 times and been runner-up five times, but has not won the world championship since Houston’s Westbury American Little League accomplished the feat in 1966. The most recent runner-up finish for Texas came in 2000 when Bellaire Little League of Bellaire, was defeated by Sierra Maestra Little League of Venezuela, 3-2, in the world championship game.
Other teams that have already qualified are: 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 Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif., when Redmond North Little League of Redmond, Wash., plays West Valley Little League from Eagle, Idaho for the Northwest Region Tournament championship.
The remaining U.S. region finals are: 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.). All 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 70 other countries.