Chinese Taipei Returning to Little League Baseball World Series for First Time Since 1996; Saipan Qualifies
The Shou Tien Little League of Kaohsiung defeated Sendai Higashi Little League, from Sendai, Japan, 7-5, in the Asia Region championship game and will be representing Chinese Taipei for the first time in the Little League Baseball World Series. Sendai was the 2002 Little League Baseball World Series runner-up, losing to Valley Sports American Little League from Louisville, Ky., 1-0.
Chinese Taipei finished the four-team regional tournament with a 3-1 record. This is the second year that leagues in Chinese Taipei have chartered with Little League Baseball since voluntarily withdrawing from the program following the 1996 season.
Teams from Chinese Taipei have qualified for the Little League Baseball World Series 21 times and have 17 world championships. The most recent title was won in 1996 when a team from Kaohsuing defeated Western (Cranston, R.I.) Little League, 13-5.
The Saipan Little League defeated Jakarta Little League, from Indonesia, 4-3, in the Pacific Region championship game also in Guam. This was Indonesia’s first time playing in a Little League Baseball regional final. Saipan Little League finished the four-team tournament with a 3-1 record.
A team from CNMI has never won the Little League Baseball World Series. The only other appearance by CNMI in the Little League Baseball World Series came in 1993.
Shou Tien Little League and Saipan Little League join Linda Vista Little League of Guadalupe, Mexico and Pabao Little League of Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, as participants in the 2004 Little League Baseball World Series.
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 Saturday in Panama City, Panama, when the Latin American Region Tournament is due to end.
The U.S. region finals, all of which will be televised live on ESPN2, are: Southeast (St. Petersburg, Fla., Aug. 7, 7 p.m.); Midwest (Indianapolis, Aug. 8, 7 p.m.); Great Lakes (Indianapolis, Aug. 9, 8 p.m.); Southwest (Waco, Texas, Aug. 10, 8 p.m.); Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., Aug. 11, 8 p.m.); West (San Bernardino, Calif., Aug. 12, 8 p.m.); New England (Bristol, Conn., Aug. 14, 8 p.m.); Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., Aug. 15, 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.