2012 Indiana State Little League® Tournament Results
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Indiana State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

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Indiana State Tournament
Host - Osolo (Elkhart) (District 14)

Pool 'A' Participants
District 1 Champions South Haven
District 3 Champions Frankfort
District 10 Champions Don Ayres Time Corners American (Fort Wayne)
District 11 Champions Southside (South Bend)

Pool 'B' Participants
District 5 Champions Jeff/GRC American (Jeffersonville)
District 13 Champions Jasper
District 14 Champions Goshen

Pool 'C' Participants
District 2 Champions Dyer
District 4 Champions Terre Haute North
District 8 Champions Ben Davis (Indianapolis)

Pool 'D' Participants
District 6 Champions New Castle
District 7 Champions Decatur Baseball
District 9 Champions Harry Bridges (Elwood)
District 12 Champions Seymour

The fourteen state tournament qualifiers are divided into four pools. After round-robin pool competition, the top two teams in each pool advance to the quarterfinal round. Teams in Pool 'B' and Pool 'C' will play a cross-over game in addition to games against their pool opponents.

Click here to view 2012 district tournament results for Indiana.

Tournament Results:

Pool 'A' Bracket

Round 1 (Saturday, July 21):
Frankfort 15, South Haven 0
Southside 6, Don Ayres Time Corners American 0

Round 2 (Sunday, July 22):
Frankfort 11, Don Ayres Time Corners American 4
Southside 7, South Haven 4

Round 3 (Monday, July 23):
Southside 5, Frankfort 2
South Haven 10, Don Ayres Time Corners American 2

Pool 'B' Bracket

Round 1 (Saturday, July 21):
Jasper 5, Goshen 4
Jeff/GRC American 10, Ben Davis 9

Round 2 (Sunday, July 22):
Jeff/GRC American 15, Jasper 0
Dyer 4, Goshen 3

Round 3 (Monday, July 23):
Jeff/GRC American 14, Goshen 4
Terre Haute North 10, Jasper 4

Pool 'C' Bracket

Round 1 (Saturday, July 21):
Terre Haute North 2, Dyer 0
Jeff/GRC American 10, Ben Davis 9

Round 2 (Sunday, July 22):
Ben Davis 10, Terre Haute North 7
Dyer 4, Goshen 3

Round 3 (Monday, July 23):
Dyer 6, Ben Davis 4 (8 innings)
Terre Haute North 10, Jasper 4

Pool 'D' Bracket

Round 1 (Saturday, July 21):
Seymour 12, Harry Bridges 2
Decatur Baseball 3, New Castle 1

Round 2 (Sunday, July 22):
Harry Bridges 7, New Castle 6
Decatur Baseball 8, Seymour 3

Round 3 (Monday, July 23):
Decatur Baseball 10, Harry Bridges 3
New Castle 5, Seymour 3

Pool 'A' Standings



Southside 3 0 6
Frankfort 2 1 9
South Haven 1 2 24
Don Ayres Time Corners American 0 3 27

Pool 'B' Standings



Jeff/GRC American 3 0 13
Jasper 1 2 29
Goshen 0 3 23

Pool 'C' Standings



Terre Haute North 2 1 14
Dyer 2 1 9
Ben Davis 1 2 23

Pool 'D' Standings



Decatur Baseball 3 0 7
New Castle 1 2 13
Seymour 1 2 15
Harry Bridges 1 2 28

The top two teams in each pool advance to the quarterfinal 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.

Quarterfinal Round (Tuesday, July 24)

New Castle 4, Terre Haute North 3
Decatur Baseball 6, Jasper 0
Jeff/GRC American 16, Frankfort 4
Dyer 8, Southside 0

Semifinal Round (Wednesday, July 25)

New Castle 7, Jeff/GRC American 5 (10 innings)
Dyer 3, Decatur Baseball 2

Indiana State Championship Game (Thursday, July 26)

New Castle 7, Dyer 3 (TITLE)


New Castle Little League knows a thing or two about tenacity. The league had won the Indiana state championship in the 9-10 year old division in 2010, but their dream of a Williamsport run as the core of that team graduated to the major baseball division was tempered by the illness of manager Danny Smeckens, who faced a lengthy battle with colon cancer.

Smeckens believed his players had massive potential, and as his health deteriorated and treatment became less promising, he began to bypass chemotherapy sessions in order to spend as much of his remaining time as possible with his team, coaching them and leading practices. Smeckens eventually succumbed to the disease in March of 2011, but not before asking his friend and assistant coach, Brett Mann, to see through his dream of New Castle reaching to the Little League World Series.

Mann had recently been laid off from his job, one of hundreds in New Castle impacted when a local Chrysler plant shuttered its doors. Mann was considering a move from New Castle, but Smeckens' request put these ideas on hold, and Mann instead elected to remain and attempt to fulfill Smeckens' dream.

Sixteen months later, that dream looked improbable. Twenty of the 21 pool competition games in the Indiana state tournament at the Osolo Little League complex in Elkhart were in the books, and New Castle was winless in the fourteen team tournament.

Seventy-two hours later, New Castle was the Indiana state champion. Fifteen days after that, Smeckens' dream became a reality, as New Castle advanced to the Little League World Series.

In a remarkable display of perseverance and heart, a resilient New Castle team elbowed its way into the elimination rounds of the state tournament by winning that 21st pool contest. New Castle then snapped a fifth inning tie to win its quarterfinal round game, and rallied from two runs down in the sixth inning of what became a ten inning semifinal round victory. So it was little surprise that New Castle rallied again, this time from a 3-2 deficit, to defeat Dyer Little League, 7-3, and win the Indiana state championship.

New Castle's late inning heroics didn't end there: the Indiana team would eventually overcome a 5-1 deficit, and score the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 6-5 victory over Warren County Southern Little League (Bowling Green, Kentucky) in the Great Lakes Region championship game. The victory vaulted New Castle into the Little League World Series.

But before fulfilling Smeckens' dream of taking the field at Lamade Stadium, New Castle had to first navigate its way through the Indiana state tournament. After dropping its first two games -- a 3-1 defeat against Decatur Baseball Little League in which New Castle had the tying run on base as the game ended and a 7-6 loss to Harry Bridges Little League that was decided on a sixth inning grand slam -- New Castle scraped into the quarterfinal round with a 5-3 victory over District 12 winner Seymour Little League. The win pulled New Castle into a three-way tie for second place in its pool, and started a chain of rallies that culminated in the team's win over Dyer.

Dyer, which was the Indiana runner-up in the 10-11 year old division the prior year, led the championship game by a 3-2 margin through four innings, but New Castle struck for five runs in the fifth of its 7-3 victory. Dyer pitcher Connor Tomas stymied New Castle for much of the title game, and recorded a pair of strikeouts to open the decisive fifth inning. But Niah Williamson followed the punchouts with a single, and Tomas reached his pitch count limit when he issued his only walk of the game on a full count pitch to Janson Anderson.

Following a pitching change, Hunter McCubbins walked to load the bases, and Mason Gillis evened the score with a bad-hop single that scored Williamson. Cayden Smeckens then splashed a single just past the infield which scored Anderson and McCubbins, and Huntley capped the rally with a base hit that scored Gillis and Smeckens.

Huntley, a curveballing specialist, took the mound in relief in the fourth inning, and threw three scoreless innings to lift New Castle into the Great Lakes Region tournament for the second time in seven years.

New Castle needed late inning pushes in both its 4-3 quarterfinal round win over Terre Haute North Little League and its 7-5, ten inning victory over Jeff/GRC American Little League in the semifinal round. Against Terre Haute, New Castle forged an early lead on Bryce Pinkard's second inning home run, but Terre Haute drew level with two runs of its own in the fourth. In the fifth, Janson Anderson doubled to spark a two-run rally as New Castle regained the lead for good. McCubbins and Gillis laid down consecutive bunts, and Cayden Smeckens then snapped the tie with a two-run single.

Terre Haute put runners at second and third with one out in the sixth, but Cayden Smeckens induced a grounder to Anderson, who threw out the potential tying run at the plate. Smeckens then registered an eight-pitch strikeout to lift his team into the semifinal round.

New Castle's opponent in that game would be familiar: Jeff/GRC American Little League from Jeffersonville. Jeff/GRC American was Indiana's most recent Little League World Series qualifier, having advanced to South Williamsport in 2008, and had won the Indiana title in the 10-11 year old division in 2011. Jeffersonville had advanced to the semifinal round meeting on the heels of a 16-4 win over Frankfort Little League in which it homered four times and rapped out a collective 14 hits, but the semifinal round encounter with New Castle proved to be a more defensive-oriented contest.

Jeff/GRC American struck first in the 3-1/2 hour marathon, scoring once in the first when Gabe Bierman was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and adding a run in the second when special pinch runner Gabe Gallahar scored on a passed ball. But New Castle tied the game in the sixth, when Gillis doubled to score Williamson and Anderson.

The teams traded runs in the ninth, with Bryce Huntley's home run in the top of the inning giving New Castle a temporary edge, and Jeffersonville tying the game on Bradley Benton's run-scoring double. Jeffersonville had runners at second and third with nobody out after tying the score in the inning, when New Castle's defense kept the game-ending run from scoring. Williamson fielded a grounder and threw home to retire the potential winning run, then third baseman Huntley did the same for the inning's second out. New Castle's pitcher then induced a grounder to end the threat and send the game to the tenth, where Cayden Smeckens provided the decisive blow. Williamson, Anderson, and McCubbins all reached safely to load the bases, before Smeckens launched a full count pitch beyond the right field fence for a grand slam. Before the pitch, Smeckens pointed his bat toward the sky: Danny's son made sure in his own way that his father, the team's source of inspiration, was part of the decisive moment.

Jeffersonville got two runs back in the bottom of the frame when Timmy Borden homered, but New Castle held on to secure its championship game meeting with Dyer, and eventually, Danny Smeckens' dream of a trip to the Little League World Series.

New Castle won its opener in South Williamsport, a 4-0 victory over Northwest Region winner Gresham National (Oregon) Little League, and then dropped games against McAllister Park National Little League (San Antonio, Texas West) and Fairfield American (Connecticut) Little League to finish the tournament tied for fifth place in the U.S. bracket. But the team would achieve one final victory before returning to Indiana. New Castle met and befriended the players from Lugazi (Uganda) Little League during its stay in South Williamsport. The African team hailed from an impoverished farming village with few resources, and when New Castle sent word of the Ugandans' needs back to Indiana, and the community responded with large donations of equipment and clothing.

The team and the community were simply drawing upon the lessons they had long ago learned.

“At the end of the day,” said New Castle manager Tim Porter, “the game of life is bigger than baseball.”

Follow New Castle at the Great Lakes Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Championship Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
New Castle 0 0 0 2 5 0 7 - -
Dyer 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 - -

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Last revision: 06/08/2013