2002 Little League® Baseball New England Region Tournament
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New England Region Tournament

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New England Region Tournament
Host - Eastern Region Headquarters; Bristol, Connecticut
At Breen Field; A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center

Participating Teams City League
Connecticut State Champions Orange Orange LL
Maine State Champions Westbrook Westbrook LL
Massachusetts State Champions Worcester Jesse Burkett LL
New Hampshire State Champions Portsmouth Portsmouth LL
Rhode Island State Champions Portsmouth Portsmouth LL
Vermont State Champions Essex Junction Essex Junction LL

NOTE: The 2002 New England Region Tournament used a two-phase tournament format. Each participating team played four games in a round-robin schedule, and the top four teams then advanced to single-elimination semifinal and championship round games.

Click here to view State Tournament results for New England Region Tournament participants.

Tournament Results:

Sunday, August 4:
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 1, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 (7 innings)
Orange (Connecticut) 16, Westbrook (Maine) 0 (5 innings)

Monday, August 5:
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 3, Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 (NO-HITTER)
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 5, Portsmouth (Rhode Island) 3 (7 innings)

Tuesday, August 6:
Westbrook (Maine) 3, Essex Junction (Vermont) 2 (7 innings)
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 3, Orange (Connecticut) 0

Wednesday, August 7:
Portsmouth (Rhode Island) 7, Essex Junction (Vermont) 3 (8 innings)
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 14, Westbrook (Maine) 3 (5 innings)

Thursday, August 8:
Portsmouth (Rhode Island) 3, Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 2
Orange (Connecticut) 7, Essex Junction (Vermont) 0

Friday, August 9:
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 9, Westbrook (Maine) 1
Orange (Connecticut) 3, Portsmouth (Rhode Island) 1

Final Standings


Orange (Connecticut) 3 1 4
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 3 1 6
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 3 1 5
Portsmouth (Rhode Island) 2 2 13
Westbrook (Maine) 1 3 41
Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 4 20

The top four teams advanced to semifinal round competition.

Ties are broken based on records in head-to-head competition among tied teams. In the event of a three-way tie, the initial tie is broken based on fewest runs allowed per defensive inning played. The tie between the remaining two teams is then broken based on head-to-head record.

Semifinal Round

Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 1, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 (NO-HITTER)
Portsmouth (Rhode Island) 1, Orange (Connecticut) 0

New England Region Championship Game

Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 1, Portsmouth (Rhode Island) 0 (TITLE)


Yogi Berra would have called it deja vu all over again.

Portsmouth (Rhode Island) Little League manager Ron Westmoreland termed it "baseball at its finest."

For the Jesse Burkett Little League all-star team from Worcester, Massachusetts, it was a dream come true.

Pitcher Keith Landers threw a two-hitter and shortstop Gordie Lockbaum drilled a solo home run over the right center field fence in the third inning to lift Jesse Burkett to a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth (Rhode Island) Little League in the New England Region championship game at Breen Field in Bristol, Connecticut.

With the win, Jesse Burkett advanced to the Little League World Series.

The game marked the third consecutive 1-0 result in the tournament's closing contests. Burkett reached the championship game by edging Portsmouth (New Hampshire) on Frank Flynn's no-hitter in the semifinal round, and Rhode Island's Portsmouth team squeaked past Orange (Connecticut) by the same score in the other semifinal.

Each game was decided by a solo home run.

"Its amazing," said Jesse Burkett manager Fran Granger.

"You want to play good defense, get good pitching and timely hits. But for us, it's been a timely home run."

Lockbaum's timely home runs -- he also provided his team's offense with a check-swing homer in the semifinal round -- were all that Jesse Burkett would need, thanks to the superb pitching of Flynn and Landers. The two pitchers combined to allow only four baserunners in Jesse Burkett's final two wins.

Flynn struck out eleven during his no-hitter, including the side while protecting his team's slim lead in the sixth inning. For the tournament, the 5'10", 190 pound right-hander allowed only three hits in sixteen innings of work.

"We didn't want to face (Flynn). Nobody did," said New Hampshire manager Rick Fransoso.

Granger knew Flynn would keep his team in the game. "I've said it many times before, but it's true: with Frankie on the mound, if we get one run, we're going to be tough to beat."

"Flynn is the best pitcher in the tournament," added Fransoso, whose team also lost 1-0 to Flynn in the tournament's opening game.

New Hampshire pitcher Ben Hart wasn't far behind Flynn. Hart allowed only two hits, and shut out Worcester following Lockbaum's home run in the first inning.

"That was a good pitch," said Fransoso of the ball Lockbaum hit out of the park. "He's a strong kid, and he went out and got it."

Landers followed Flynn's performance with an equally dominating effort. The tall left-hander allowed only two hits, struck out ten, and did not walk a batter. Landers allowed a bloop single in the second inning, then retired eleven batters in a row before allowing a one-out single to left by pinch hitter Chris Russell in the sixth. After a strikeout, Danny Dugan lifted a flare toward short right field. The ball looked like it might clear the infield, but Worcester second baseman Joe Petry raced back and made an over-the-head grab to end the game.

"That ball, if it falls, we're in trouble," said Granger, realizing that Portsmouth's Ryan Westmoreland (four home runs in the tournament) was due up next.

"I was hoping Ryan would get to the plate," said Ron Westmoreland. "We came up one batter short. But they did make it very exciting."

Portsmouth pitcher Mike Lynch, an 80 pound right-hander, mixed his fastball with a knuckle curveball that kept Jesse Burkett hitters off-balance throughout the game. He allowed only three hits and needed just 55 pitches in five innings of work.

"Mike made one mistake, (and) a good hitter will take advantage of that," said Ron Westmoreland of Lockbaum's title game homer. "Gordie Lockbaum is a very, very good hitter."

Lockbaum also knows what it's like to be hit. After returning from the Little League World Series, Jesse Burkett was feted by the Boston Red Sox before a game at Fenway Park. While speaking with reporters, Lockbaum received a special honor: a pie in the face, courtesy of Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni.

"Welcome to the majors," advised Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.

Based on the team's big league-like performance in Bristol, the Jesse Burkett all-stars were already there.


  Semifinal Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Portsmouth (NH) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Jesse Burkett 1 0 0 0 0 x 1 2 -
  Semifinal Round
Portsmouth (RI) 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 0
Orange 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
  Championship Game
Portsmouth (RI) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Jesse Burkett 0 0 1 0 0 x 1 3 0

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Last revision: 03/02/2004