By Will Desautelle
The field is set for the 2019 Little League Baseball® World Series. Starting Thursday afternoon, Aug. 15, tens of thousands will visit South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to watch 16 teams vie for the championship of Little League Baseball. Here is a look at this year’s participants.
Asia-Pacific Region Champion – Chung Nam (B) Little League, South Chungcheong, South Korea
Representing the Asia-Pacific Region is Chung Nam (B) Little League from South Chungcheong, South Korea. Chung Nam finished with a perfect 7-0 record in the Asia-Pacific regional tournament, outscoring its opponents 78-8 along the way. The team will be the seventh from South Korea to play in Williamsport, five of which came in the last six years. Last year’s team from South Korea finished as the runner-up, losing in the championship game against Honolulu (Hawaii) Little League. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 6,893.
Australia Region Champion – Cronulla Little League, Sydney, New South Wales
Cronulla Little League (Sydney, New South Wales) represents the Australia Region for the second time after finishing 6-0 in the Australia regional tournament. Cronulla previously won the Australia Region Championship in 2015, going on to win one game in Williamsport against a squad from the Dominican Republic. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 9,781.
Canada Region Champion – Coquitlam Little League, Vancouver, British Columbia
British Columbia’s Coquitlam Little League will represent the Canada Region after finishing 7-1 at the regional tournament. The 2019 LLB® World Series marks the second time a Coquitlam Little League team has advanced to the Little League Baseball® World Series, the last time coming in 1984 when it earned an opening-round win over Belgium. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 2,814.
Caribbean Region Champion – Pabao Little League, Willemstad, Curacao
A familiar team returns from the Caribbean Region, as Pabao Little League from Willemstad, Curaçao returns for its ninth trip to the World Series since 1980. Pabao is led by Jurdrick Profar, the younger brother of Jurickson and Juremy Profar, each of whom played in the LLB® World Series for the Caribbean team in 2004 and 2005 and 2007 and 2008, respectively. Jurickson’s team won the World Series in 2004. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 2,072.
Europe and Africa Region Champion – Emilia Romagna Little League, Bologna, Italy
Emilia Romagna Little League from Bologna, Italy, represents the Europe and Africa Region after outscoring its opponents 27-7 in four games in the regional tournament played in Kutno, Poland. Emilia Romagna will play in Williamsport for the fourth time after prior appearances in 2008, 2016, and 2017. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 4,247.
Japan Region Champion – Chofu Little League, Chofu City
Chofu Little League is the Japan Region champion after outscoring its opponents 37-1 in regional play. Chofu last played in the Little League World Series in 2016 and will try to capture the country of Japan’s 12th Little League Baseball® World Series Championship. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 6,640.
Latin America Region Champion – Cacique Mara Little League; Maracaibo, Venezuela
From the Latin America Region, Cacique Mara Little League from Maracaibo, Venezuela is the 20th Venezuelan team to make the trip to Williamsport. Cacique Mara finished with a 5-1 record in the Latin America Region tournament with its only loss coming in its second game of the tournament. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 2,138.
Mexico Region Champion – Epitacio Torres Little League; Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon
Epitacio “Mala” Torres Little League from Guadalupe, Nuevo León will represent the Mexico Region. Only six teams from Mexico have ever made it to the World Series Championship, with three of them going on to win it. Marcello Herrera leads a deep pitching staff with four players who can throw over 70 mph. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 2,005.
UNITED STATES BRACKET
Great Lakes Region Champion – Bowling Green (Ky.) Eastern Little League
Bowling Green East (Kentucky) Little League is the Great Lakes Region representative after a convincing 15-6 win over Illinois in the regional championship game. This will mark the third trip to the World Series for a Bowling Green team in just the last five years. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 716.
Mid-Atlantic Region Champion – Elmora Youth Little League; Elizabeth, N.J.
Elmora Little League out of Elizabeth, NJ represents the Mid-Atlantic Region. Elmora finished regional play with a 3-1 record, avenging their only loss with a 19-4 win over New York in the championship game. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 188.
Midwest Region Champion – Coon Rapids Andover Little League, Coon Rapids, Minn.
The Midwest Region will have a first-time representative in Coon Rapids Little League out of Minnesota. Coon Rapids defeated Iowa 8-6 in the regional championship game behind a seven-run explosion during the final two innings of play. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 1,045.
New England Region Champion – Barrington (RI) Little League
Barrington Little League in Rhode Island will be the fifth team from the state in the last six years to represent the New England Region. The team defeated New Hampshire in the regional championship game after losing to the same squad earlier in the tournament. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 375.
Northwest Region Champion – Sprague Little League, Salem, Ore.
Sprague Little League out of Salem, Oregon, emerged from the Northwest Region after a thrilling 5-4 defeat of Idaho in the regional championship game. Sprague won its first state championship ever this season after consecutive third place finishes in the tournament. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 2,773.
Southeast Region Champion – Loudoun South Little League; South Riding, Va.
Loudon South Little League from South Riding, Virginia, won the Southeast Region and is the first team from the Old Dominion state to qualify for the Little League Baseball® World Series in 25 years. The Loudon South team has won consecutive state championships after coming out of the elimination bracket. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 203.
Southwest Region Champion – Eastbank Little League; River Ridge, La.
Representing the Southwest Region is Eastbank Little League from River Ridge, La. The Eastbank Little league has won five consecutive Louisiana state titles dating back to 2015. The Southwest Region winners combined to outscore its opponents 79-0 in its district and state tournaments. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 1,227.
West Region Champion – Central East Maui Little League; Wailuku, Hi.
In winning the West Region, Central East Maui Little League is the first team from Hawaii’s “Valley Island” to earn a World Series berth. Hawaii has played in the Little League Baseball® World Series 12 times, capturing three World Series titles, including the most recent championship won in 2018 by Honolulu, Little League. Miles traveled to the 73rd LLBWS: 4,745.