SAUDI ARABIA DEFEATS POLAND 1-0 IN NINE INNINGS, EARNS BERTH IN LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, defeated Kutno, Poland, 1-0 in nine innings Monday night in the championship game of the Little League Baseball European Regional Tournament at Ed Piszek Stadium in Kutno, site of the Little League Baseball European Leadership Training Center.
Andrew Blakely and Chris Griffith combined to pitch a no-hitter for Arabian American Little League, which is composed mainly of the children of U.S. citizens working for oil companies. Saudi Arabia earned its 12th trip to Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League Baseball World Series, Aug. 20-26.
Kutno threatened throughout the game, stranding seven runners in front of a boisterous home crowd estimated at 3,500, the largest crowd to witness a baseball game in Poland’s history. With one out in the last of the ninth inning, Philip Hecht’s one-out single to right field with the bases loaded, and the Polish infield pulled in, gave Saudi Arabia the victory. Michal Perlinski went the distance for Poland, scattering seven hits.
In the semifinal on Saturday, Saudi Arabia defeated Almaty Little League of Almaty, Kazakhstan, 7-5. Kutno Little League advanced to the final with a 5-3 victory against Waterloo, Belgium. Scores and stories on all the regional tournaments of Little League are available at www.littleleague.org.
The two other teams determined for the eight-team Little League Baseball World Series (11-12-year-olds) field are Sierra Maestra Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela, the Latin America Region champion, and Musashi Fuchu Little League of Tokyo, Japan, the Far East champion.
The first of four U.S. Regional Tournaments ends tonight (Tuesday) with the Southern Region Tournament championship in St. Petersburg, Fla., where teams from Bellaire, Texas (a suburb of Houston), and Barboursville, W.Va., will play for a berth at Williamsport. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.
The other championship games of the U.S. regional tournaments can be seen live on ESPN2 as well: U.S. Central, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.; U.S. East, Thursday, 8 p.m.; U.S. West, Thursday, 11 p.m. (All times Eastern). The Canada Regional Tournament in Windsor, Ontario, began last week and ends Wednesday.
Nine Little League World Series games will be televised live on ESPN or ESPN2, as well as a hitting contest and all-star game. The championship game on Aug. 26 will be televised live on ABC Wide World of Sports at 4:30 p.m.
Little League Baseball is the largest organized youth sports program in the world, with nearly 3 million participants in all 50 states and 103 other countries.