2003 Maine State Little League® Tournament Results
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Maine State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

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Maine State Tournament
Host - Waldo County (District 2)
At Larrabbee Field; Knox, Maine

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions Sunrise (Milbridge)
District 2 Champions Rockland
District 3 Champions Katahdin Valley (Sherman Station)
District 4 Champions Kennebunk-Kennebunkport
District 5 Champions Augusta West
District 6 Champions Falmouth

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Falmouth 3, Kennebunk-Kennebunkport 2
Augusta West 2, Sunrise 1

Winner's Bracket Semifinals:
Falmouth 5, Rockland 0
Augusta West 4, Katahdin Valley 2

Elimination Bracket Quarterfinals (six teams remain):
Kennebunk-Kennebunkport 10, Katahdin Valley 0 (full six innings; elim.)
Rockland 2, Sunrise 1 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Augusta West 11, Falmouth 3

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
Rockland 7, Kennebunk-Kennebunkport 6 (elim.)

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
Falmouth 7, Rockland 2 (elim.)

Championship Game:
Augusta West 7, Falmouth 3 (TITLE)


Brothers can be very competitive, and both Tom Vallee and Jacob Rutt had some catching up to do.

Vallee's brother Ray had managed the last Augusta West Little League team to win a Maine state championship when his 1998 squad defeated East Biddeford 4-2 on a walkoff home run in the state title game. Rutt's brother Jon was a player on that team, which went on to post a 3-2 record at the Eastern Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut.

Tom Vallee was at the helm and Jacob Rutt was on the mound in the 2003 Maine state championship game, and they matched their brothers' feats. Rutt carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and earned his second win of the tournament as Augusta West defeated Falmouth Little League 7-3 at Larrabbee Field in Knox.

Rutt eventually allowed three hits in his five innings of work, and he also paced Augusta's offense with four hits at the plate. His leadoff single to left field in the first inning keyed a three-run rally that gave Augusta West the lead for good. Taylor Boutin opened the scoring with a two-run single before a third run scored on a Falmouth error.

In the third inning, Mustafa Hassenzada's leadoff home run extended the lead. Pat Norwood and Matt Childs later drove in insurance runs as Augusta won for the eleventh consecutive game.

Augusta West lost its second game of the District 5 tournament, but rebounded with seven consecutive victories to win the district championship before sweeping four state tournament opponents. The Maine state champions went on to finish as the New England Region tournament runner-up.

"We played more games than most of these other teams probably played," said Tom Vallee after the championship game win. "We've been putting the ball in play, that's the key, and our pitching's been phenominal."

Augusta West allowed only thirteen runs -- seven of them in one outing -- during its seven-game run through the elimination bracket in the district tournament. Rutt continued the stellar mound work with a four-hit shutout as Augusta West defeated Sunrise Little League 2-0 in its state tournament opener. Rutt also provided the game's only offense with a two-run homer in the third inning.

The next day, Hassenzada rose to the occasion. The right-hander threw a four-hitter of his own, striking out eleven and walking none as Augusta West edged Katahdin Valley 4-2. The performance was a reminder of how far Hassenzada's baseball skills had progressed in the two summers since he had first played the game. Hassenzada was born in Afghanistan and moved to Pakistan at a young age before emigrating to Maine. He arrived at his first Little League tryout without a baseball glove.

"He couldn't even play catch," recalled Tom Vallee of Hassenzada's efforts during his first tryout prior to the 2002 Little League season. "A lot of nine-year-olds were picked before him. He didn't go (in the draft) until the third round. Then I saw him in his first game. How fast he was, it was unbelievable."

Hassenzada's speed was on display against Katahdin Valley, when he followed Rutt's leadoff single in the top of the first inning with a triple. Garrett Lucus followed with an RBI single, as Augusta broke to a quick 2-0 lead. Katahdin Valley responded, however, and RBI singles from Travis Casey and Ethan Quailey in the bottom of the inning tied the score.

Augusta pushed into the lead in the fifth. Rutt led off with his third home run in as many games, and Hassenzada was hit by a pitch before eventually scoring from third on a throwing error after Boutin walked and intentionally trapped himself in a rundown.

Augusta's next strong pitching performance came from an unlikely source. Rutt, the scheduled starter against Falmouth in the winner's bracket final, felt ill, so Tom Vallee turned to seldom-used Aaron Allen. Augusta's surprise starter performed more like Aaron Alvey, turning in a complete game, walk-free effort as his team moved into the championship game with an 11-3 victory.

"It was a game time decision," said Vallee of his decision to go with Allen. "The kid had the day of his life. He's as cool as a cucumber."

Ryan Minoty's RBI single in the first gave Augusta an early 1-0 lead. Falmouth tied the game in the third, but Hassenzada snapped the tie with a towering three-run homer over the right field fence in the bottom of the inning. Rutt made a brief appearance with an RBI triple in the fourth, and Matt Childs iced the win with a three-run double in the fifth.

Sean Welch and Colin Burnett had solo home runs for Falmouth, while Burnett added a run-scoring single.

Falmouth rebounded from the loss, defeating Rockland 7-2 to earn a rematch with Augusta West. Falmouth ace Jack Wyman carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing a hit and a pair of unearned runs in the sixth. He struck out seven and allowed only three balls hit out of the infield in 5-2/3 innings of work.

"He stepped up today in a big way," said Falmouth manager John Fitzsimmons of Wyman's effort. "We needed a big pitching performance and we got it."

"This guy mixed it up well," added Rockland manager John Murphy. "He's got a good little curveball and we never really knew what to look for. He pitched a good game."

The next day, Rutt led the way with his arm and his bat as Augusta West defeated Falmouth for the second time to claim the state championship. The win gave Augusta West four championships in four state tournament appearances: Augusta North Little League had won Maine championships in 1990 and 1991, and after a merger with Augusta South Little League formed Augusta West in the mid-1990s, Ray Vallee led the Kennebec County league to the state title in 1998.

At the New England Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut, Augusta West split its four pool games to reach the semifinal round. Augusta West edged Lincoln (Rhode Island) Little League 2-1 in the semifinal round before falling 4-0 to eventual U.S. runner-up Saugus American (Massachussetts) Little League in the championship game.

Follow Augusta West at the New England Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Elimination Bracket Finals 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Falmouth 1 0 3 0 3 0 7 7 1
Rockland 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 1
  Championship Game
Augusta West 3 0 2 0 2 0 7 10 4
Falmouth 0 0 1 0 2 0 3 3 2

Toward the past

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Last revision: 06/12/2004