Game 9
New England
2  vs. Midwest  1 
Saturday, August 17, 2002
8:00PM ET

Landers boys lift Worcester to win

The orange and blue jerseys. The 0-1 records. The ‘W’ city distinctions. Webb City, Mo., and Worcester, Mass., even had matching line scores through most of Saturday night’s showdown.

With so many parallels, a late-inning nail-biter seemed to be in order. And the little leaguers obliged, giving the 7,200 in attendance at Volunteer Stadium one to remember.

In the end, the Landers kids took over as Worcester sweated out critical 2-1 victory over the Midwest representatives. The New England little leaguers upped their record to 1-1 in the World Series, while Webb City fell to 0-2.

Players on both squads understood the magnitude of the game. 

“We knew we had to win tonight or else we were gone,” shortstop Gordie Lockbaum said. 

Worcester snapped a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fourth as Ben Landers legged out an infield single, scoring pinch runner Micah Golshirazian from third. That was all the support his namesake, Keith Landers, would need. The southpaw allowed only four hits in a complete game win. 

“Every time he was in trouble he bore down and kept them off-balance,” Worcester manager Fran Granger said. “He didn’t know these batters, but after you see them once, we know we can them out.”

After struggling with his control early, Keith Landers settled down nicely, surrendering only 1 hit after the first frame. He mixed speeds nicely throughout the game, keeping the Webb City sluggers off-balance. 

“I was really nervous when those first few kids got hits off me,” he said. “But then my coach came out and I got a little more calm.”

Webb City took note of Landers’ jitters and revved the engines for a scoring fest, but then their bats went quiet.

“We felt like we needed another hit get, maybe get two more runs in and have a great shot,” Midwest manager Craig Powell said. “I thought we’d get to him anyway, but he kept us off balance with his big breaking ball stuff and we just didn’t get going.”

The Midwest representative threatened in the top of the fifth, as Jerick Swarens and Dakotah Miller walked to begin the inning. But precision pitching and dependable defense kept Webb City from scoring. Lockbaum bobbled a two-out grounder, but recovered and threw to third for the force out. 

Landers took note of the heads up play and then took care of business in the sixth, striking out the side to secure victory. 

“They go out 100 percent for everything,” Granger said. “If you saw our warm-ups, they’re diving for everything, making great plays. 

“That’s just the way they are.”

While Landers baffled batters with finesse, Webb City righthander Chance Sossomon powered his way through the New England lineup. Sossomon recorded nine strikeouts in five innings of work. 

Webb City struck first, thanks to a smash in the left-centerfield gap by pitcher Sossomon in the top of the first inning. The double brought home Miller, who had reached on a single. 

But Worcester bounced back immediately, knotting the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning. Bite-size third baseman Andy Fallon came around after Lockbaum slapped an outside pitch into right field for a double. 

Worcester will wait until Monday when it takes on Fort Worth Texas at 2 p.m. Webb City meets Waipahu, Hawaii at 8 p.m. on Monday. 

By Adam Rittenberg 
Special Correspondent

S New England(Home) vs. US Midwest(Visitor)
Aug 17 2002 8:08 PM To 9:59 PM Volunteer Stadium So. Williamsport, Pa.

Game Scoring By Inning:

1
2
3
4
5
6
R
H
E
US Midwest
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
0
US New England
1
0
0
1
0
x
2
5
0

Home Team Box Score:
US New England
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Fallon, Andy
3b
1
1
1
0
3
2
2
0
Lockbaum, Gordie
ss
3
0
1
1
3
2
1
0
Flynn, Frank
1b
3
0
1
0
3
0
4
0
Landers, Keith
p
2
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
Griffin, Ryan
c
3
0
0
0
3
1
10
0
Daly, Teddy
lf
3
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
Ford, Zach
cf
2
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
Petry, Joe
2b
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
Landers, Ben
rf
1
0
1
1
2
0
1
0
Ball, Matt
ph
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Sabacinski, Kurt
ph
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Golshirazian, Micah
sr-cf
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
Rice, Dan
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
20
2
5
2
24
6
18
0

Visiting Team Box Score:
US Midwest
POS
AB
R
H
RBI
AP
As
PO
E
Miller, Dakotah
cf
2
1
1
0
3
0
0
0
Sossamon, Chance
p
3
0
1
0
3
0
1
0
Zerkel, Landon
1b
3
0
0
0
3
1
2
0
Aggus, Darren
2b-c
3
0
1
1
3
0
2
0
Powell, Caleb
3b
3
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
Pink, Alan
ss
2
0
0
0
3
0
2
0
Richardson, Brett
rf
3
0
1
0
3
1
0
0
Hickman, Jordan
c
2
0
0
0
2
0
8
0
Swarens, Jerick
lf
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Gregory, Jaryd
sr-lf
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Walker, Preston
2b
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
22
1
4
1
25
2
15
0

Winning Pitcher: Landers, Keith Losing Pitcher: Sossamon, Chance
IP
R
ER
ERA
H
K
BB
HP
TP
KP
BP
US New England
Landers, Keith
6.0
1
1
1.00
4
10
3
0
107
66
41
US Midwest
Sossamon, Chance
5.0
2
2
2.40
5
9
3
1
98
64
34

ERA computed assuming 6 innings per game

© 2002 Little League Baseball Incorporated