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Citrus Park Little League From Tampa, Fla., Uses the Long Ball to Win Southeast Region, Make 2008 Little League Baseball World Series

Citrus Park Little League From Tampa, Fla., Uses the Long Ball to Win Southeast Region, Make 2008 Little League Baseball World Series

Little League World Series

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 8, 2008) – Wyatt Reid hit two home runs, including the blast that capped an 11-0 Southeast Region Championship game victory for Tampa, Florida’s Citrus Park Little League over Westside Little League from Mobile, Ala., Friday night at Arnold S. White, Sr. Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Reid tallied six runs batted in on the night, and was equally impressive on the mound in relief of Citrus Park Little League starting pitcher Michael McGuire. Taking the mound in the second inning, Reid faced the minimum nine batters through the next three innings. 

In the bottom of the fifth inning, after teammates Danny Lastra, Brett Wilkosz and Kevin Merrill had all homered, Reid launched a solo shot to left field to finish off a six-run inning, and end the game by way of the 10-run rule.

Citrus Park Little League surrendered only four earned runs, with four shutouts, in five games at the Southeast Region Tournament. In the eight-team tournament, the Florida State Champions posted a record of 5-0, and improved to 12-0 in the 2008 Little League Baseball International Tournament. 

Westside Little League, which also was undefeated entering the region title game, had tallied 45 runs on 49 hits, highlighted by 20 home runs in its first four regional games, but the combination of McGuire and Reid allowed only three hits to the Alabama State Champions.

Teams representing the state of Florida have never won Little League Baseball World Series, but have played in the World Series 20 times and reached the World Series Championship eight times. The most recent occasion came in 2003 when East Boynton Beach Little League was defeated by Musashi-Fuchu Little League of Tokyo, Japan, 10-1. 

Citrus Park Little League will be making its first appearance in the Little League Baseball World Series. The Southeast Region Champion is the second U.S. team to earn a berth in the 2008 World Series, joining U.S. Southwest Region Champion, South Lake Charles (La.) Little League. 

The other teams that will be participating in this year’s World Series are: Mexico National Champion, Matamoros Little League; Caribbean Region Champion, Pabao Little League of Curacao; Middle East and Africa (MEA) Region Champion, Arabian American Little League of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Asia-Pacific Region Champion, Southern Guam Little League of Yona, Guam; Latin America Region Champion, Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela; and Japan’s National Champion, Edogawa Minami Little League from 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 tomorrow at noon on ESPN, when the U.S. Midwest Region Tournament in Indianapolis, is due to end.

The other U.S. region finals, which will be televised live, are: Saturday - New England (Bristol, Conn., 2 p.m., ESPN); 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).