2004 Little League® Baseball New England Region Tournament
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New England Region Tournament
Major Baseball Division

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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 Berlin Berlin LL
Maine State Champions Biddeford East Biddeford LL
Massachusetts State Champions Worcester Jesse Burkett LL
New Hampshire State Champions Portsmouth Portsmouth LL
Rhode Island State Champions Lincoln Lincoln LL
Vermont State Champions Essex Junction Essex Junction LL

NOTE: The 2004 New England 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 New England Region Tournament participants.

Tournament Results:

Day 1 (Friday, August 6):
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 2, Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 1
Berlin (Connecticut) 6, East Biddeford (Maine) 2

Day 2 (Saturday, August 7):
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 5, Essex Junction (Vermont) 3
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 14, East Biddeford (Maine) 0 (4 innings)

Day 3 (Sunday, August 8):
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 11, Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 7
Berlin (Connecticut) 6, Essex Junction (Vermont) 1

Day 4 (Monday, August 9):
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 6, East Biddeford (Maine) 5
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 5, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0

Day 5 (Tuesday, August 10):
Essex Junction (Vermont) 4, East Biddeford (Maine) 0
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 4, Berlin (Connecticut) 1

Day 6 (Wednesday, August 11):
Essex Junction (Vermont) 6, Lincoln (Rhode Island) 3
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 16, Berlin (Connecticut) 4 (full six innings)




Lincoln (Rhode Island) 3 1 7
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 3 1 19
Essex Junction (Vermont) 2 2 14
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 2 2 19
Berlin (Connecticut) 2 2 23
East Biddeford (Maine) 0 4 30

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.

New England Region Tournament Semifinals (Thursday, August 12)

Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 11, Essex Junction (Vermont) 9
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 10, Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 0 (4 innings)

New England Region Tournament Championship Game (Saturday, August 14)

Lincoln (Rhode Island) 3, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 (TITLE)


At the 2003 New England Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut, Lincoln (Rhode Island) Little League manager Randy Hien hoped to save ace pitcher Chris Costantino for a potential championship game assignment when his team faced Augusta West (Maine) Little League in the semifinal round.

Hien's plans were scuttled when Augusta used an array of breaking pitches to tame the Lincoln offense, and despite three scoreless innings from Costantino late in the game, Rhode Island fell to the Pine Tree state team 2-1.

One year later, Hien, Costantino, and Lincoln were back in the region tournament, and the Rhode Island manager had no hesitation in using his top pitcher in the semifinal round. Hien wanted to make sure his team reached the championship game.

And he had Alex Kay waiting in the wings.

Kay threw a three-hitter and struck out nine batters as Lincoln defeated Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Little League 3-0 at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center in Bristol. The win was Kay's second shutout of the region tournament, and Lincoln's fourth.

More importantly, it advanced Lincoln to the Little League World Series for the second time in four years.

"Alex was absolutely fantastic tonight," said Hien after the championship game. "He had command of his fastball and curveball. He threw curveballs 70 percent of the time until they started to catch onto what we were doing, then he threw first-pitch fastballs to confuse them."

Kay's off-speed pitches stymied a potent New Hampshire offense that hit a collective .314 at the region tournament entering the championship game. The right-hander allowed only two baserunners prior to the sixth inning, then escaped a bases-loaded threat to seal the victory.

Costantino, whose two-hitter in the semifinal round helped Lincoln reach the championship game, delivered the key blow in the title game. The right-hander followed Jeremy Rhault's first inning single with a long home run over the center field fence that gave Lincoln an early 2-0 edge.

The early lead was important, as Portsmouth pitcher Gabe May shut the door on Lincoln's offense for much of the game. The right-hander retired nine in a row following Costantino's strike, and allowed only three more hits for the remainder of the game.

"All we asked was for him to keep us in the game, and he did that," said Portsmouth manager Tim Berky. "The only mistake he made was that pitch in the first inning, but I didn't think that two runs were going to beat us."

Portsmouth had scored 46 runs in its first five games at Bristol, including 27 in its last two.

"He just pitched a whale of a game," agreed Hien. "It was different from what we thought. We thought we were going to score a bunch of runs."

The runs had come in bunches for Lincoln two days earlier, when the Rhode Island team moved into the championship game with a 10-0 win over Jesse Burkett Little League (Worcester, Massachusetts). Lincoln put the game out of reach early, scoring three times in the first inning and adding two more on Damon Divozzi's homer in the second. Four Jesse Burkett errors led to eight unearned Lincoln runs over the course of the game. Brendon Sullivan and Zach Trentseau each drove in a pair of runs for Lincoln, while Divozzi was 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

The first inning runs alone would have been enough for Costantino, who struck out eleven batters in the four inning game and 33 in twelve innings at the region tournament. The right-hander had struck out sixteen Jesse Burkett batters earlier in the tournament when Lincoln edged the 2002 Little League World Series qualifiers 2-1 in the tournament's opening game.

"We have a pretty good feeling with Chris on the mound," said Hien.

"He pitched a phenomenal game," said Jesse Burkett manager Wayne Loomer. "He's just one of those dominant pitchers."

"He's as good a pitcher as I've faced in ten years of coaching," concurred Massachusetts coach Tom Daly. "I know what it's like to have a pitcher like him. I rode one (Frank Flynn) to the World Series two years ago."

Wary of Jesse Burkett's past success and the closeness of the teams' first meeting, Hien was elated to move past the Massachusetts champions.

"I was afraid of this Massachusetts team," said Hien after the semifinal round win. "We saw them win their state championship (when three home runs gave Jesse Burkett a 6-1 win over Wakefield National Little League). I'm just very proud of our kids."

Berky was equally pleased with the efforts on his New Hampshire squad's effort, especially after Portsmouth roared back from an big deficit to defeat Essex Junction (Vermont) Little League 11-9 in the semifinal round. Adam Picard's three-run homer capped a big fourth inning rally as the Vermont champions turned a scoreless tie into an 8-0 lead. But Portsmouth capitalized on three errors in the top of the fifth to score six runs and stay within striking distance. Will Berky, Justin Dorow, and Jack Gonsalves delivered RBI hits in the inning.

Essex Junction extended its lead with a run in the fifth, but T.J. Berky roped a two-run homer over the center field fence and S. Diego Rodriguez followed with a solo shot that tied the game. After a pair of singles, Dorow delivered a two-run double to right center field that scored Mike Montville and Gonsalves with the go-ahead runs.

"These kids," said Rob Berky at the close of the tournament, "will be heroes the minute they get back home."

"I don't know what it is about New Hampshire," said Berlin (Connecticut) Little League manager Chris Pick, whose team fell victim to a ten-run sixth inning rally in a 16-4 Portsmouth victory earlier in the tournament. "They just win. It's not always pretty, but they win."

The same could be said for Lincoln, which has won five Rhode Island and two New England championships in six years. Lincoln has compiled a 21-9 record in region tournament play during that timespan, typically while carrying a full fourteen player roster -- a rarity since the advent of Little League Baseball's mandatory play rules for the international tournament.

"We have a lot of tradition going for us," acknowledged Hien. "But every year is a different team and so many things have to go right.

"There's just no quit in them," he added. "We've been to Williamsport before, made some mistakes there, a little star-struck . . . But our confidence is through the roof and we do have some special players on this team.

"This team just keeps getting better and better."


  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 10 0
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
  Pool Play Game 2
Berlin (Connecticut) 0 0 0 1 0 5 6 6 4
East Biddeford (Maine) 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 3 2
  Pool Play Game 3
Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 1 0 0 1 1 3 7 2
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 1 2 2 0 x 5 8 0
  Pool Play Game 4
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 4 6 0 4 14 17 0
East Biddeford (Maine) 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
  Pool Play Game 5
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 1 1 2 6 1 11 10 1
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 4 0 1 0 2 0 7 9 4
  Pool Play Game 6
Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
Berlin (Connecticut) 1 1 1 0 3 x 6 6 1
  Pool Play Game 7
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 1 0 0 1 3 1 6 9 3
East Biddeford (Maine) 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 3
  Pool Play Game 8
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 0 0 0 0 5 0 5 12 0
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
  Pool Play Game 9
Essex Junction (Vermont) 1 0 0 1 0 2 4 7 1
East Biddeford (Maine) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
  Pool Play Game 10
Berlin (Connecticut) 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 3
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 0 2 1 1 0 x 4 7 2
  Pool Play Game 11
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 9 3
Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 3 0 3 0 x 6 8 1
  Pool Play Game 12
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 2 0 0 4 0 10 16 8 1
Berlin (Connecticut) 0 1 2 1 0 0 4 6 2
  Semifinal Round
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 0 0 0 6 5 11 13 1
Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 0 0 8 1 0 9 10 5
  Semifinal Round
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 3 2 0 5 10 9 0
Jesse Burkett (Massachusetts) 0 0 0 0 0 2 4
  Championship Game
Lincoln (Rhode Island) 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 5 1
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0

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Last revision: 06/12/2005