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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2008 > South Dakota Pulls Away Late to Win Midwest Region Championship, Reaches Little League World Series for the First Time

South Dakota Pulls Away Late to Win Midwest Region Championship, Reaches Little League World Series for the First Time

South Dakota Pulls Away Late to Win Midwest Region Championship, Reaches Little League World Series for the First Time

Little League World Series

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 9, 2008) – Rapid City, South Dakota’s Canyon Lake National Little League scored three runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth inning to pull away for a 7-1 win over Coon Rapids National Little League from Minnesota, in the Midwest Region Championship game Saturday afternoon at Stokely Field in Indianapolis.

The victory secured the first Little League Baseball World Series appearance for the states of North and South Dakota, which combine its pool of players for Little League Baseball International Tournament play.

Winning pitcher Cale Fierro was dominant on the mound for Canyon Lake Little League, striking out 12 and scattering five hits, before giving way to Bill Hendricks, who recorded the final two outs of the game. Fierro allowed three hits in the first inning, as Coon Rapids National Little League scored its lone run on a Seth Johnson RBI single.

The 1-0 lead held up for Coon Rapids National Little League until there were two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. After T.J. Nolan reached base, Jonah Hanson lined a double to center field, scoring Nolan with the tying run. Matt Minnick, who was 14-of-17 at the plate in the regional tournament, singled to left field and an error by the left fielder allowed Hanson to score. Tanner Simons made the score 3-1 in favor of Canyon Lake Little with a double to left-center field.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, three consecutive two-out hits, highlighted by a two-run single by Minnick, gave Canyon Lake Little League a comfortable margin of victory, and a measure of redemption after losing to Coon Rapids National Little League in the 2007 Midwest Region Championship game.

Canyon Lake Little League finished the six-team region tournament with a 5-1 record, while Coon Rapids Little League was 3-3 in regional play.   

The other teams that will be participating in the 2008 Little League Baseball World Series are: U.S. Southeast Region Champion, Citrus Park Little League, Tampa, Fla.; U.S. Southwest Region Champion, South Lake Charles Little League, Lake Charles, La.; Mexico National Champion, Matamoros Little League; Caribbean Region Champion, Pabao Little League, Curacao; Middle East and Africa (MEA) Region Champion, Arabian American Little League, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Asia-Pacific Region Champion, Southern Guam Little League, Yona, Guam; Latin America Region Champion, Coquivacoa Little League, Maracaibo, Venezuela; and Japan’s National Champion, Edogawa Minami Little League, Tokyo. 

The Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds will be played in Williamsport, Aug. 15-24. Sixteen teams from around the world will take part. 

The World Series championship game can be seen live on ABC at 3:30 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 24. ABC also will televise the International Championship Game on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 12:30 p.m., followed by the United States championship at 3 p.m.

The 2008 World Series will be the second operated under the eight-year television contract agreement with ESPN/ABC. Five games will be televised on ABC. This will be the third year that all of the World Series games will be televised in high definition. For the seventh year since the tournament expanded from eight to 16 teams in 2001, every team will have games on national television.

All 32 games of the World Series will be televised again this year. Fifteen World Series games will be televised on ESPN and 11 will be televised on ESPN2. 

In addition, the ESPN family of networks is carrying all eight of the U.S. Regional Championship finals in the Little League Baseball division. The U.S. regional finals have been televised by ESPN and ESPN2 every year since 1997. 

Little League International also formed a unique relationship with the New England Sports Network (NESN) and Madison Square Garden Network (MSG) to televise early-round games in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regional tournaments in Bristol, Conn.

The next berth in the Little League Baseball World Series is expected to be decided today at on ESPN, when the U.S. New England Region Tournament in Bristol, Conn. is due to end.

The other U.S. region finals, which will be televised live, are: Saturday - Great Lakes (Indianapolis, 7 p.m., ESPN); Northwest (San Bernardino, Calif., 9 p.m., ESPN2); Sunday - West (San Bernardino, Calif., 10 p.m., ESPN); and Monday - Mid-Atlantic (Bristol, Conn., 8 p.m., ESPN).