2008 Little League® Baseball Great Lakes Region Tournament
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Great Lakes Region Tournament
Major Baseball Division



Toward the past
2008

Toward the present

Great Lakes Region Tournament
Host - Central Region Headquarters; Indianapolis, Indiana
At Stokely Field; Reuben F. Glick Little League Baseball Center

Participating Teams City League
Illinois State Champions Chicago Jackie Robinson West LL
Indiana State Champions Jeffersonville Jeff/GRC American LL
Kentucky State Champions Bowling Green Bowling Green Eastern LL
Michigan State Champions Bay City Bay City Southwest LL
Ohio State Champions Mount Vernon Mount Vernon LL
Wisconsin State Champions Appleton Appleton Einstein LL

NOTE: The 2008 Great Lakes Region Tournament used a pool play format. At the completion of pool competition, the top four teams advanced to single-elimination semifinal and championship round games.

Click here to view state tournament results for Great Lakes Region Tournament participants.


Tournament Results:

Day 1 (Thursday, July 31):
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 2, Mount Vernon (Ohio) 0

Day 2 (Friday, August 1):
Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 3, Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 0
Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 6, Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 5 (7 innings)

Day 3 (Saturday, August 2):
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 8, Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 7
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 9, Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 2

Day 4 (Sunday, August 3):
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 7, Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 4

Day 5 (Monday, August 4):
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 8, Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 2
Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 5, Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 1

Day 6 (Tuesday, August 5):
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 9, Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 4

Day 7 (Wednesday, August 6):
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 18, Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 3 (4 innings)
Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 7, Mount Vernon (Ohio) 3

Day 8 (Thursday, August 7):
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 16, Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 6 (6 innings)


Standings

W

L

Runs
Allowed
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 3 1 14
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 3 1 25
Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 2 2 16
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 2 2 17
Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 2 2 31
Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 0 4 32

The top four teams advance to the semifinal round.

Ties are broken based on records in head-to-head competition among tied teams. If a clear winner cannot be determined from head-to-head results, the tie is broken by calculating the ratio of runs allowed to defensive innings played for all teams involved in the tie. The team with the lowest runs-per-defensive-inning ratio advances.

In the event of a tie involving three or more teams, once the initial tie is broken, the remaining tied teams are again compared on head-to-head record to determine if a clear winner can be identified. If no clear winner can be identified from head-to-head results among the remaining tied teams, the runs-per-defensive-inning ratio is again used. This process is repeated until all ties have been broken.

Great Lakes Region Tournament Semifinals (Friday, August 8)

Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 11, Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 6
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 2, Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 0

Great Lakes Region Tournament Championship Game (Saturday, August 9)

Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 11, Mount Vernon (Ohio) 4 (11 innings; TITLE)


Summary:

Jeff/GRC American Little League (Jeffersonville, Indiana) had defeated all comers en route to the Indiana state championship. They slayed a potent Illinois juggernaut twice in the Great Lakes Region tournament, and their only loss came later in that tournament when both they and their opponent were merely jockeying for seeding position.

But the Road to Williamsport is never easy, and inevitably, those who earn the right to take the field at Lamade and Volunteer Stadiums do so only after being pressed to the limit. For Jeff/GRC American, their challenge came while standing on the doorstep to South Williamsport.

It took everything Jeffersonville had to outlast Mount Vernon (Ohio) Little League in the Great Lakes Region championship game. The two teams traded blows in the early innings, before Indiana pulled even in the fifth. Then the two sides settled into a battle of attrition. By the time they were done -- 3 hours and 37 minutes, 337 pitches, and eleven innings after plate umpire Chester Rice issued the play ball command, Jeff/GRC American and Mount Vernon had played the longest U.S. region championship game in over a half-century. And Jeffersonville finally subdued the Ohio team's pitching staff to earn their biggest win of the summer.

Jeffersonville scored seven runs in the top of that decisive eleventh inning, and outlasted Mount Vernon, 11-4, to win the Great Lakes Region tournament at Stokely Field in Indianapolis. Forty-three years after the town's George Rogers Clark Little League made its initial trip to the Little League World Series, Jeffersonville was headed back to South Williamsport.

"Right now, I just don't even know what to say," said Indiana manager Derek Ellis. "I'm just a little bit speechless about what I just saw."

Each team's pitchers had posted five shutout innings after Jeffersonville tied the game in the fifth, before the Indiana team strung together a series of hits in the decisive eleventh inning. Drew Ellis legged out an infield hit to start the rally, advanced on a passed ball, and gave Jeff/GRC American its first lead since the second inning when he scored on a wild pitch. Chandler Dale ground a single up the middle and eventually scored on Hayden Robb's single.

Then the trickle became a flood: Ben Shahroudi, Josh Burke, and Dalton Duley all singled, and the lead ballooned to 8-4. Center fielder Austin Hines capped the rally with a three-run homer that bounced off the top of the center field fence before falling over to the other side. It was the leadoff hitter's fifth home run of the tournament, and third in two games.

"It was a battle of getting through to some pitchers on their team who normally don't pitch," explained Derek Ellis. "They were completely spent. They went through two quality pitchers (and) we were able to get to some guys who hadn't been in this situation before."

Mount Vernon starter Jayben Martin, who had held Jeff/GRC to two runs earlier in the tournament, allowed four runs while striking out seven in 4-1/3 innings before reaching his pitch count limit. Reliever Josh Edwards took over, and held the Indiana team to just four hits and, more importantly, no runs through the tenth inning. He struck out eleven and walked just two before also crossing the 85 pitch threshold and switching positions.

"We felt like the momentum was going to switch when we tied it up, but we couldn't capitalize and get another run across," said Derek Ellis, whose team stranded twelve baserunners during the game. "The Mount Vernon pitchers kept shutting us down, over and over."

"I felt good about our chances," said Mount Vernon manager Tom Glibert. "We were the home team, and had the last at-bats in (each of the extra innings). We had opportunity after opportunity. We just didn't take advantage of it. We had our chances -- we can't say we didn't."

Mount Vernon was unable to capitalize in large part due to Duley, who took over the pitching duties for Jeffersonville in the eighth inning. The tall right-hander allowed only two hits in four innings, and did not allow a Mount Vernon baserunner to reach scoring position in either the eighth, ninth, or tenth innings before his team finally pulled in front.

Mount Vernon opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, when leadoff hitter J.D. Orr drilled a home run on the inning's second pitch. Jeffersonville countered in the top of the second, converting three singles and an error into three runs, but Mount Vernon pulled even when Nick Hoar doubled and Chase Springer drove a two-out pitch over the center field fence in the bottom of the inning.

Jeff/GRC American pitcher Chandler Dale allowed just two hits over the next five innings, but Ohio managed to take the lead in the fourth when Edwards drew a one-out walk and special pinch runner Nate Bolander later scored on an error. Perhaps more importantly, Dale didn't exhaust his 85 pitch limit until he had thrown seven full innings -- a factor that meant Jeffersonville did not need to reach deep into its pitching staff with multiple relievers as quickly as Mount Vernon.

"When two teams battle like this, you hate to see anyone lose," said Derek Ellis. "The Ohio team is a great, great baseball team. I feel for them right now, and my heart goes out to them. They gave it everything they had as well as our kids did. It is hard to lose."

Jeffersonville reached the championship game by toppling Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League, 11-6, in the semifinal round. Drew Ellis -- who relieved Duley after just one batter -- scattered five hits and held the potent Illinois offense to just one run over five innings of work. He struck out ten before reliever Christopher Wenger withstood a sixth inning Illinois rally and closed out the win.

"It was a big decision," said Derek Ellis of his decision to hand the ball to his son early in the game. "I really don't think we could have beat this team without him."

"Illinois is a great baseball team," added the Indiana manager. "For (Drew) to give up only five hits against a quality team like that, that's a quality outing... He had his blinders on -- he was focused today."

"Drew had a very competitive drive and nice fast ball and was able to hit spots," Illinois manager Joe Haley told Unpage Publications. "(He had) excellent location for pitcher his age."

Jeff/GRC got the fast start they wanted -- Hines and Drew Ellis opened the game with consecutive home runs, just as they did when the two teams met in pool competition -- and Ellis stranded five baserunners in the second and third innings before his three-run homer in the fourth put Jeff/GRC American firmly in control of the game. Hines added a solo shot in the sixth, and later in the inning, Burke doubled home a pair of runs and Duley added an RBI single.

Burke and Duley helped to key an effort in which the bottom four positions in the Indiana batting order contributed four hits, four runs scored, and four runs batted in.

"I challenged those guys last night in the team meeting," said Derek Ellis of Burke, Duley, right fielder Brad Koerner, and outfielders Nick Thompson and Tyler Sariscsany. "They stepped up... they were big."

Jeff/GRC American had opened the regional with wins over the same two teams. The Indiana champions blanked Mount Vernon, 2-0, behind Drew Ellis' one-hitter in the tournament's inaugural game, then rallied late to overtake Jackie Robinson West, 8-7.

"That's the best pitcher we've seen," said Glibert after Ellis struck out twelve and allowed only Dylan Hess' third inning double. "Ellis was a notch above what we've seen as far as speed, but what hurt us tonight was his off-speed pitch, which obviously was fooling a lot of our hitters."

"We have been talking about that a little bit," said Derek Ellis of his son's curveball. "We're trying to be a little more control-conscious because he's got a great defense behind him and he's got to utilize that... He was able to ge through the whole game (without exceeding the 85-pitch limit), so yes, he's been working on control."

Two days later, Jeffersonville trailed Jackie Robinson West 7-3 through four innings, before pushing across five late runs to extend their record at the regional to 2-0. Dale's two-run double in the fifth narrowed the gap, and after Burke singled to open the sixth, Duley followed with a towering home run that cleared the light poles and landed far beyond the left field fence.

"That was some timely hitting," said Derek Ellis of Duley's game-tying bomb. "We needed that from Dalton."

Three batters later, Hines pushed Indiana over the top with his second solo shot of the game.

The two wins put Jeff/GRC on the inside track for a semifinal round berth, and the Indiana winners officially cleared that hurdle with an 8-2 win over Bay City Southwest (Michigan) Little League. Robb delivered a two-run double and Burke followed with a two-run blast beyond the left center field fence as Jeffersonville scored four runs in the fifth inning to extend a 3-2 lead. Two days later, with both teams primarily trying to set their pitching rotations for elimination round games, Jeffersonville fell to Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) Little League, 16-6.

Mount Vernon had split its four pool games, losing to Ellis in their opener, and later to Jackie Robinson West fireballer Wendall Ferguson (20 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched at the regional) in their final preliminary round matchup. But the Ohio champions upended previously undefeated Bowling Green Eastern, 2-0, in the semifinal round to earn a rematch with Jeffersonville. Mount Vernon pitcher Nick Hoar used a tantalizing array of off-speed pitches to tame a Kentucky offense that hit a collective .400 in pool competition. Bowling Green managed just one hit against Hoar, who needed only 67 pitches in a thirteen strikeout, no walk effort. He also homered and drove in both Mount Vernon runs.

"His breaking ball was just falling off the table tonight," said Glibert.

"Kenucky was a quality opponent, but we were on our game," added the Ohio manager. "I don't think they hit a ball out of the infield all night."

"We just ran into a pitcher we had extreme difficulty with," said Bowling Green manager Rick Kelley. "We just ran into a buzzsaw tonight that we couldn't solve."

The next evening, nothing came easy for either team as Mount Vernon's will and heart matched that of Jeffersonville for more than three hours before the Indiana team finally struck the decisive blow late into the night. But regardless of the details surrounding the contest -- the stakes in the game, the magnified interest driven by the nationally televised ESPN broadcast, and even the critical detail of which team ultimately won or lost -- Jeff/GRC American manager Derek Ellis boiled the essence of the marathon championship game contest down to just a few words.

"It was," said the Indiana manager, "one heck of a game."


Linescores:

  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
  Pool Play Game 2
Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 0 1 1 0 1 0 3 5 0
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
  Pool Play Game 3
Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 1 2 0 0 2 0 0 5 9 2
Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 1 0 2 0 2 0 1 6 8 1
  Pool Play Game 4
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 2 0 1 0 2 3 8 8 1
Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 1 4 0 2 0 0 7 10 0
  Pool Play Game 5
Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 6 2
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 5 1 1 1 1 x 9 9 0
  Pool Play Game 6
Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 0 1 0 0 3 0 4 9 1
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 0 0 0 1 6 x 7 11 1
  Pool Play Game 7
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 0 3 0 0 4 1 8 10 0
Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 3 2
  Pool Play Game 8
Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 2
Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 0 0 1 1 3 x 5 7 0
  Pool Play Game 9
Bay City Southwest (Michigan) 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 6 1
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 0 0 0 6 3 x 9 11 0
  Pool Play Game 10
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 0 2 4 12 18 14 1
Appleton Einstein (Wisconsin) 2 0 1 0 3 7 0
  Pool Play Game 11
Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 0 0 4 0 2 1 7 7 0
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 4
  Pool Play Game 12
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 1 0 1 3 0 11 16 16 0
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 1 0 0 2 3 0 6 4 3
  Semifinal Round
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 2 0 0 4 0 5 11 12 2
Jackie Robinson West (Illinois) 0 0 0 0 1 5 6 7 1
  Semifinal Round
Bowling Green Eastern (Kentucky) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 0 1 0 1 0 x 2 3 0
  Championship Game
Jeff/GRC American (Indiana) 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 11 17 1
Mount Vernon (Ohio) 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 4




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