2011 Arizona State Little League® Tournament Results
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Arizona State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

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Arizona State Tournament
Host - Canyon del Oro (Oro Valley) (District 5)
At James Kreigh Park

Participating Teams
Northern Arizona Sectional Champion Ahwatukee American (Phoenix) (District 13)
Northern Arizona Sectional Runner-Up McCormick Ranch (Scottsdale) (District 6)
Southern Arizona Sectional Champion Rio Rico (District 8)
Southern Arizona Sectional Runner-Up Gilbert National (District 14)

Click here to view 2011 district tournament results for Arizona.

Tournament Results:

Winner's Bracket Final:
Rio Rico 10, Ahwatukee American 0

Elimination Bracket Semifinal (four teams remain):
Gilbert National 5, McCormick Ranch 4 (elim.)

Elimination Bracket Final (three teams remain):
Ahwatukee American 27, Gilbert National 11 (elim.)

Championship Game:
Rio Rico 8, Ahwatukee American 4 (TITLE)


It had been over 20 years since Arizona's District 8 produced the state's champion in the major baseball division, and over a decade since one of its leagues had reached the state championship game.

But everyone knew Rio Rico Little League was well-positioned to change that trend. The core of Rio Rico's team had already won state titles in the 9-10 year old division in 2009 and in the 10-11 year old division in 2010, and the league entered the 2011 international tournament sporting a 19-0 record against Arizona competition in those two summers.

It was a trend that Rio Rico would continue in 2011.

Rio Rico overwhelmed nine Arizona opponents by an 89-9 margin as it swept through district, sectional, and state tournament play. The last of these victories, an 8-4 decision over Ahwatukee American Little League in the state championship game at James Kreigh Park in Oro Valley, propelled the team into the West Region tournament in San Bernardino, California.

"It's a great feeling," said Rio Rico manager Trini Lopez after his team dispatched Ahwatukee for the second time in three nights. "Its a great group of kids. They like to learn and listen. They execute when we tell them to do something."

And they hit. Angel Chavez homered twice, doubled, and drove in five runs to lead his team to the championship game victory, while left fielder Sean Fanning delivered two hits, including a double. Mike Escobar added a base hit and walked twice for Rio Rico.

Chavez homered in each of his first two plate appearances and doubled in the fourth before receiving an intentional walk in the sixth. The early home runs helped Rio Rico to build an 8-0 lead through four innings that stood up against a late Ahwatukee push.

"He's our horse, and we've been riding him for a long time," said Lopez of Chavez's performance. "(His bat) woke up when we needed him, and his pitching is just as good."

Chavez had pitched Rio Rico into the championship game with a 10-0 victory over Ahwatukee American in the winner's bracket final. Chavez stifled the powerful Ahwatukee offense, surrendering just one hit and striking out 14 of the 17 hitters he faced. At one point, Chavez struck out ten consecutive hitters in the five inning win.

Ahwatukee had scored in double-digits in eight of their ten district and sectional tournament games, and the Dawgs later overwhelmed Gilbert National Little League, 27-11, in between its two losses to Rio Rico.

Ahwatukee's power outage against Rio Rico continued in the teams' second meeting, as pitcher Cesar Dominguez carried a shutout into the fifth inning before Jordan Brooks' three-run homer narrowed the Rio Rico lead and chased Rodriguez from the mound. Reliever Gerardo Lopez allowed just one run and one hit over the final two innings to seal Rio Rico's victory.

"I'm an old-fashioned baseball guy," said Ahwatukee manager Rocky Kern. "Pitching beats hitting every time, and Rio Rico has some tremendous pitchers. We just didn't have as much pitching as they did, and we just didn't do what we wanted to do.

"But my hat's off to (Rio Rico)," added the Ahwatukee manager. "They're a very well-coached team. They're very fundamentally sound. They don't make errors. They don't beat themselves. Their pitchers throw strikes and they don't walk people. They're just a very solid baseball team."

Ahwaukee's challenge in the title game extended beyond the early deficit on the scoreboard -- the Dawgs lost their starting pitcher to a broken nose when a line drive deflected off his glove, and a second player injured his wrist and required an MRI. Kern also joined the casualty list, as the Ahwatukee manager was injured when he was hit in the temple by an errant ball between innings during the game.

Both Rio Rico and Ahwatukee American advanced without a loss through Arizona's new sectional tournament structure. Rio Rico allowed just one run in each of its three sectional victories, including a 7-1 victory over Gilbert National in the championship game. Rio Rico had defeated Gilbert National in the state championship game of the 10-11 year old division the previous summer. Ahwatukee, meanwhile, advanced with a trio of victories, including a 10-5 championship game win over Arrowhead Little League.

Rio Rico dropped a pair of close games in pool competition at the West Region tournament, and finished the tourney in fifth place with a 1-3 record.

Follow Rio Rico at the West Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.

2011 Arizona District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results:

Northern Arizona Sectional Southern Arizona Sectional
D1 - Continental (Flagstaff)
D2 - Arrowhead (Glendale)
D3 - Shadow Mountain (Phoenix)
D6 - McCormick Ranch (Scottsdale)
D9 - Yuma West
D10 - Prescott Valley
D13 - Ahwatukee American (Phoenix)

Northern Arizona Sectional Tournament
Host - Continental (Flagstaff) (District 1)
At Continental Little League Park

Continental Little League Park is located at 5650 E. Old Walnut Canyon Drive in Flagstaff.

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Yuma West 10, Shadow Mountain 0
2 - McCormick Ranch 1, Continental 0
3 - Ahwatukee American 10, Prescott Valley 2
4 - Arrowhead 15, Yuma West 5
5 - Ahwatukee American 4, McCormick Ranch 2
6 - Continental 10, Prescott Valley 0 (elim.)
7 - McCormick Ranch 12, Shadow Mountain 7 (elim.)
8 - Continental 9, Yuma West 6 (elim.)
9 - Ahwatukee American 10, Arrowhead 5 (Ahwatukee American advances to state with no losses)
10 - McCormick Ranch 14, Continental 4 (elim.)
11 - McCormick Ranch 7, Arrowhead 2 (McCormick Ranch advances to state with one loss)

D4 - Coolidge
D5 - Amphi (Tucson)
D7 - Four Peaks (Mesa)
D8 - Rio Rico
D11 - Pinal Mountain (Claypool)
D12 - Santa Rita (Tucson)
D14 - Gilbert National

Southern Arizona Sectional Tournament
Host - Arizona District 5 and Canyon View Little League (Tucson)
At Mehl Park

Mehl Park is located at 4001 E. River Road in Tucson.

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Gilbert National 7, Amphi 2
2 - Rio Rico 9, Four Peaks 1
3 - Pinal Mountain 1, Coolidge 0
4 - Gilbert National 4, Santa Rita 2
5 - Rio Rico 11, Pinal Mountain 1
6 - Four Peaks 3, Coolidge 2 (elim.)
7 - Amphi 9, Pinal Mountain 5 (elim.)
8 - Four Peaks 9, Santa Rita 8 (elim.)
9 - Four Peaks 7, Amphi 6 (elim.)
10 - Rio Rico 7, Gilbert National 1 (Rio Rico advances to state with no losses)
11 - Gilbert National 6, Four Peaks 3 (Gilbert National advances to state with one loss)

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Last revision: 06/10/2012