2000 Kansas State Little League® Tournament Results

Kansas State Tournament

Toward the past

Toward the present

Kansas State Tournament
Host - Baxter Springs (District 2)

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions
District 2 Champions

Southwest Kansas (Hugoton)
Baxter Springs

Tournament Results:

Baxter Springs 12, Southwest Kansas 4
Southwest Kansas 13, Baxter Springs 3 (4 innings)
Southwest Kansas 3, Baxter Springs 1 (TITLE)


The road to the Kansas state championship usually winds through Baxter Springs. The small Southeastern Kansas community has long been the state's most successful league, and entered the 2000 International Tournament with 17 state titles to its credit, including 15 since 1976. Baxter Springs last lost a state tournament game in 1981 -- they quickly recovered to claim that year's title -- and carried a 26 game state tournament winning streak into their meeting with Hugoton's Southwest Kansas LL in the 2000 title round.

Southwest Kansas, by contrast, countered Baxter Springs' imposing history with a slew of state runner-up finishes. Eight of Baxter Springs' state titles came at the expense of the Hugoton league, which had not beaten a Baxter Springs team in over a quarter-century.

In the 2000 Kansas state tournament, history meant little to the Southwest Kansas all-star team. After dropping an opening game 12-4 decision to the District 2 champions, Hugoton swept a pair of contests against Baxter Springs on Baxter's field to pocket their second state crown in an eight year span. Southwest Kansas' 13-3, five-inning victory in game two of the state tournament marked not only Baxter Springs' first state tournament loss in two decades, but also the first ever state tournament game that Baxter Springs lost by the 10-run rule.

Southwest Kansas dropped the tournament opener 12-4 despite outhitting Baxter Springs. Baxter capitalized on a string of costly walks and errors to post the win, but the Hugoton club rebounded with a big win the next day. Brock Gifford led the game two assault with a pair of grand slam home runs for Southwest Kansas, which pulled away late after opening an early 1-0 lead.

Gifford's first homer stretched the lead to 5-0 in the top of the third inning. Baxter responded with a three-run rally in the bottom of the frame, but Southwest added a pair of runs in the fourth to take a 7-3 lead.

Hugoton put the game out of reach in the fifth. Luis Aguirre and Justin Slaughter both reached to start the rally, and both baserunners scored on Trevor Casebeer's sharp base hit. After Aaron Holmes and catcher Andy Moser reached to load the bases, Gifford reprised his earlier power display with a second grand slam that pushed Southwest Kansas to a 13-3 lead.

The two clubs played a more traditional defense-oriented game the next day, but the potent combination of Aguirre's pitching and Gifford's hitting pushed Hugoton to a 3-1 win that delivered the state title.

Southwest opened an early 1-0 lead in the 'if' game, but Baxter Springs evened the score on a Matt McCouldless home run in the bottom of the third. Gifford then answered the homer with a blast of his own. The slugger launched his fifth post-season homer -- and third of the state tournament -- with Aguirre aboard to snap the 1-1 tie and propel Hugoton to a 3-1 lead. Aguirre then finished the job in the sixth. The right-hander retired Baxter Springs in order, with the final out coming on a relay from the outfield fence to Holmes at second. The victory sealed Hugoton's comeback, and brought the league a long-awaited triumph over their District 1 rivals.

Follow Southwest Kansas at the Central Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.

Toward the past

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Last revision: 06/18/2002