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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2011 > May-August > Lafayette (La.) Little League Earns First U.S. Berth in Little League Baseball World Series Capturing Southwestern Region Tournament

Lafayette (La.) Little League Earns First U.S. Berth in Little League Baseball World Series Capturing Southwestern Region Tournament

Lafayette (La.) Little League Earns First U.S. Berth in Little League Baseball World Series Capturing Southwestern Region Tournament

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2011 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule and Bracket 
2011 World Series Media Credential Form
2011 Southwest Tournament

Lafayette (La.) Little League completed an improbable comeback to earn the first U.S. berth in the 2011 Little League Baseball World Series with an 8-7 victory over Pearland Maroon Little League from Pearland, Texas, this evening. The championship game completed the eight-team, seven-day Southwestern Region Tournament held at the George W. Bush Little League Leadership Training Center in Waco, Texas.

The Louisiana Champions scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to send the game to extra innings, and with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Cain Castille stroked a triple down the right field line and came home on an errant throw to third base to send a team from Louisiana to the World Series for the seventh time.

Pearland Maroon looked to have a ticket punched for a return trip to the World Series for the league, starting the bottom of the sixth inning with a 7-3 advantage. But, an RBI single by Lafayette Little League third baseman Zack Stritzinger was followed by a two-out, three-run home run by center fielder Nick Fruge to send the game to extra frames.

Pearland White Little League won the Southwestern Region title in 2010 earning the World Series berth. They were defeated in the U.S. championship game, the third straight year that region’s champion lost in the U.S. title game.

Lafayette Little League pitcher Ethan Hines, who came on in the third inning for starter Hayden Erbe to earn the win, retired the Pearland Maroon batters in order in the top of the seventh inning to set the stage for the heroics by Castille.

Pearland Maroon catcher Austin Hurst had three hits, including a three-run home run in the third inning that gave Pearland a 6-2 advantage at that point, and drove in six of the seven runs for the Texas East Champions.

Lafayette Little League will be joining five other first-time qualifiers in the 2011 Little League Baseball World Series. The five teams that have already qualified are Rotterdam Little League from Rotterdam, Netherlands, the Europe Champion; Gran Maracay Little League from Maracay, Venezuela, the Latin America Champion; Aruba North Little League, from Oranjestad, Aruba, the Caribbean Champion; Asia-Pacific Region Champion Ching-Tang Little League from Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei; and Japan Region Champion Hamamatsu Minami Little League from Hamamatsu City, Japan. Segura Social Little League from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, and Arabian American Little League from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, are making return trips to the World Series.

Lafayette Little League will play its first game in the World Series, Aug. 18, against the Southeast Region Champion.

At 10:30 a.m. Eastern U.S. time On Saturday, Aug. 27, at Little League Volunteer Stadium a second team from Lafayette Little League is scheduled to play a game at the World Series. The league's Challenger Division team, featuring local Little Leaguers with physical and developmental disabilities, will be playing a one-inning game with Baugo Little League from Mishawaka, Ind.

The game will be televised live throughout Pennsylvania on WVIA, and also will be streamed via the Internet on ESPN3.com.  This is the 10th year that the Little League Challenger Division has played a game during the Little League Baseball World Series, but the first time that one of the participating leagues also has had its league represented as a regional champion in the World Series.

The 65th Little League Baseball World Series, for 11-12-year-olds, will be played in South Williamsport, Pa., Aug. 18-28. Sixteen teams from around the world will vie for the coveted title of World Champion.

For the first time since the World Series went to 16 teams in 2001, the teams will be split into two eight-team brackets – a U.S. bracket and an International bracket. For the last 10 years, the 16 teams had been split into four four-team pools.

In addition, this year a modified double-elimination format will be used that eliminates the “if necessary” games from the tournament.

The 2011 World Series is the fifth under an eight-year television contract with ESPN/ABC. All games of the World Series will be televised live, in high definition, on the ESPN family of networks or ABC. ABC will air the World Series championship game, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m., and the U.S. and International Championship games the previous day beginning with the International contest at 1 p.m. and the U.S. game to follow. For the first time, 17 World Series games will air on ESPN 3D this year.

As has been the case since 1997, everyone can follow the road to South Williamsport for the squads from the U.S. with ESPN and its family of networks coverage of the Little League Baseball regionals. Live coverage of the semifinals and championship game at all eight regional sites began August 9. In addition, the New England Sports Network (NESN) will televise four pool play games in the New England Regional, played at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Leadership Training Center in Bristol, Conn., and both semifinals.

The U.S. regional finals will be televised as follows (all times eastern): Southeastern Region (Aug. 12, 8 p.m., Warner Robins, Ga., ESPN); Great Lakes Region (Aug. 13, 11 a.m., Indianapolis, Ind., ESPN2); New England Region (Aug. 13, 1 p.m., Bristol, Conn., ESPN2); Northwest Region (Aug. 13, 5 p.m., San Bernardino, Calif., ESPN); Midwest Region (Aug. 13, 7 p.m., Indianapolis, Ind., ESPN); West Region (Aug. 13, 9 p.m., San Bernardino, Calif., ESPN); and Mid-Atlantic Region (Aug. 14, 6 p.m., Bristol, Conn., ESPN2).

The next berth in the Little League Baseball World Series is expected to be decided tomorrow when the champion in the Southeastern Region Tournament will be determined.

Edogawa Minami Little League from Tokyo became the first champion from Japan since 2003 in last year’s World Series defeating Waipio Little League from Waipahu, Hawaii, 4-1, in the title game.

Follow every step of the Little League Baseball World Series on the Little League web site (www.LittleLeague.org).

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with more than 2.5 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.

2011 Little League Baseball World Series

International Bracket

Japan Region Champion – Hamamatsu Minami Little League (Hamamatsu City, Japan)

Asia-Pacific Region Champion – Ching-Tang Little League (Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei)

Middle East and Africa Region Champion – Arabian American Little League (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

Caribbean Region Champion – Aruba North Little League (Oranjestad, Aruba)

Latin America Region Champion – Gran Maracay Little League (Maracay, Venezuela)

Europe Region Champion – Rotterdam Little League (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

Mexico Region Champion – Segura Social Little League (Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico)

Canada Region Champion – determined Aug. 13

U.S. Bracket

Southwestern Region Champion – Lafayette Little League (Lafayette, La.)

Southeast Region Champion – determined Aug. 12

Great Lakes Region Champion – determined Aug. 13

New England Region Champion – determined Aug. 13

Northwest Region Champion – determined Aug. 13

Midwest Region Champion – determined Aug. 13

West Region Champion – determined Aug. 13

Mid-Atlantic Region Champion – determined Aug. 14