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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2011 > May-August > Billings (Mont.) Big Sky Little League First Montana Team to Earn Berth in Little League Baseball World Series

Billings (Mont.) Big Sky Little League First Montana Team to Earn Berth in Little League Baseball World Series

Billings (Mont.) Big Sky Little League First Montana Team to Earn Berth in Little League Baseball World Series

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


Billings Big Sky Little League became the first team from the state of Montana to earn a berth in the Little League Baseball World Series today by winning the Northwest Region Tournament. The Montana State Champions posted a 7-1 victory over Bend (Ore.) South Little League in the championship game played at the Little League Western Region Headquarters Complex in San Bernardino, Calif.

Shortstop Cole McKenzie spearheaded the groundbreaking victory by going 3-for-3 with five RBI. McKenzie got the Montana team on the board in the first inning with an RBI single to right field. He then had the big blow in a six-run fourth inning stroking a grand slam, his third home run of the tournament. Teammate Ben Askelson followed McKenzie with his own home run to complete the scoring in the inning. All six runs scored in the inning were unearned.

McKenzie batted .684 (13-for-19) for the tournament with 11 RBI.

Starter Patrick Zimmer went five innings, allowing just four hits and one run, a sixth-inning home run by Cal Waterman to lead off the inning, while striking out three to pick up his second victory in the tournament.

Billings Big Sky Little League earned its spot in the championship game with a 6-2 victory over Lewiston (Idaho) Little League in the semifinals. Bend South Little League, looking for its first berth in the World Series, upset top-seed, North Bothell Little League from Bothell, Wash., by a 4-3 score to gain its championship game berth.

Billings Big Sky Little League joins eight other 2011 World Series qualifiers who will be making their first appearance. That list includes: Cumberland (R.I.) Little League, the New England Region Champion; North Oldham Little League from LaGrange, Ky., the Great Lakes Region Champion; Lafayette (La.) Little League, the Southeastern Region Champion; 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.

The other four 2011 World Series teams are making return trips. Langley (B.C.) Little League, the Canada Region Champion; Warner Robins (Ga.) American Little League, the Southeast Champion; Segura Social Little League from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, the Mexico Region Champions; and Arabian American Little League from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and Africa representative, are the teams who have played in the World Series in previous years.

The Northwest Region Champions will play their first game in the World Series, Aug. 18, against the Midwest Champions.

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): 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 berths in the Little League Baseball World Series will be decided today when the champions in six regional tournaments 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 – Langley Little League (Langley, British Columbia)

U.S. Bracket

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

Southeast Region Champion – Warner Robins American Little League (Warner Robins, Ga.)

Great Lakes Region Champion – North Oldham Little League (La Grange, Ky.)

New England Region Champion – Cumberland American Little League (Cumberland, R.I.)

Northwest Region Champion – Billings Big Sky Little League (Billings, Mont.)

Midwest Region Champion – determined Aug. 13

West Region Champion – determined Aug. 13

Mid-Atlantic Region Champion – determined Aug. 14