2005 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 Farmington Farmington LL
Maine State Champions Westbrook Westbrook LL
Massachusetts State Champions Dudley Dudley LL
New Hampshire State Champions Bedford Bedford LL
Rhode Island State Champions Cranston Cranston Western LL
Vermont State Champions Shelburne Shelburne LL

NOTE: The 2005 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 (Saturday, August 6):
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 10, Dudley (Massachusetts) 0 (4 innings)
Farmington (Connecticut) 5, Westbrook (Maine) 0

Day 2 (Sunday, August 7):
Shelburne (Vermont) 2, Westbrook (Maine) 1 (9 innings)
Farmington (Connecticut) 7, Bedford (New Hampshire) 1

Day 3 (Monday, August 8):
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 14, Shelburne (Vermont) 1 (4 innings)
Bedford (New Hampshire) 3, Dudley (Massachusetts) 1

Day 4 (Tuesday, August 9):
Bedford (New Hampshire) 3, Westbrook (Maine) 2
Farmington (Connecticut) 11, Dudley (Massachusetts) 0 (6 innings)

Day 5 (Wednesday, August 10):
Westbrook (Maine) 3, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0
Dudley (Massachusetts) 2, Shelburne (Vermont) 1 (8 innings)

Day 6 (Thursday, August 11):
Bedford (New Hampshire) 16, Shelburne (Vermont) 10
Farmington (Connecticut) 16, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 1 (4 innings)




Farmington (Connecticut) 4 0 2
Bedford (New Hampshire) 3 1 20
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 2 2 20
Westbrook (Maine) 1 3 10
Dudley (Massachusetts) 1 3 25
Shelburne (Vermont) 1 3 33

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 (Friday, August 12)

Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 11, Bedford (New Hampshire) 4
Westbrook (Maine) 6, Farmington (Connecticut) 4

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

Westbrook (Maine) 7, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 2 (TITLE)


Not much went right for the Westbrook (Maine) Little League all-star team in the early days of the 2005 New England Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut. Four days into the tournament, the Pine State champions had scored only three runs, and were near the bottom of the standings thanks to three consecutive losses. Westbrook's offense struggled, gasping just above the Mendoza line with a collective .205 batting average as the team managed just two extra base hits in eighteen innings. The Maine champions were on the receiving end of Farmington (Connecticut) Little League pitcher David Wiegard's record-breaking eighteen strikeout performance on the tournament's opening night, and seemed destined for an early exit as they prepared to face unbeaten Cranston Western (Rhode Island) Little League in their final pool matchup.

"Yes, I actually thought we were out of it," said Westbrook manager Rick Knight of his team's precarious position late in the tournament.

But Westbrook wasn't quite done. The team beat Cranston Western in that final pool game, and got the help it needed to win a three-way tiebreaker for the last remaining semifinal round berth. Once there, Westbrook stunned Farmington, the tournament heavyweight, and then topped Cranston Western a second time, 7-2. The latter victory came in the tournament's championship game, and lifted Westbrook into the Little League World Series.

"I think we had played tight in our first games," said Knight as his team traveled toward South Williamsport. "We lost to New Hampshire and Vermont, both one-run games, both games we should have won.

"Once we thought we were out of it, I told the kids to play one last game for the glory, and they played a lot looser," he added. "And since then, we've been playing that way. I don't know, maybe that's the best way to go in."

The looser Maine team took command early in the championship game, riding the pitching of right-hander Nick Finocchiaro and the unlikely bat of Mike Boothby to the win. Boothby had started only one game in Bristol prior to the championship matchup, and came into the game hitless in six region tournament at-bats. But the eight place hitter gave Westbrook a 2-1 lead with a run scoring bloop single in the second inning, and then capped a five-run third with a two out, three-run home run over the left center field fence. The homer was Boothby's first since the last game of Westbrook's regular season.

Boothby's homer gave Westbrook a 7-1 lead, and Finocchiaro made the advantage stand up, throwing a three-hitter and striking out nine batters in a complete game effort.

"The better team won today," said Cranston Western manager Gary Bucci after the championship game. "That team continued to fight, chip away, bunt, hit home runs, play defense. Maybe they didn't have that one big stud, but it's a pretty complete team.

"We're a pretty good hitting team ourselves, but never did we figure that their pitcher (Finocchiaro) would hold us to three hits -- not once, but twice."

Finocchiaro's earlier effort was actually a four-hitter, but his twelve strikeout complete game and three RBI singles at the plate helped stave off elimination as Westbrook downed the Rhode Island champions, 3-0. Cranston Western hit .358 as a team in its other four region tournament games, but managed just seven hits in 43 at-bats (.162 average) in two games against Finocchiaro.

Westbrook's fate after its lone pool victory wasn't determined until the next day, when Vermont's Shelburne Little League dropped into a three-way tie with Westbrook and Dudley (Massachusetts) Little League. Westbrook, which allowed just ten runs in its pool games despite the pedestrian win-loss record, easily won the tiebreaker based on its superior runs per defensive inning ratio.

"Being able to play good defense kept us in the games here," said Knight.

Westbrook's reward for claiming the tournament's fourth seed was a date with Farmington, which had outscored four pool opponents by a 39-2 margin. The Connecticut champions attracted sizeable crowds at the region tournament due to the town's proximity to Bristol.

"We had about 6,400 of 6,500 people cheering against us that night," said Knight, recalling the teams' first meeting. "The thing was, we had played pretty well against Connecticut (in pool play, where Farmington defeated Westbrook, 5-0 behind Wiegard's eighteen strikeout two-hitter). The game was much closer than the score."

Westbrook jumped to an early lead in the semifinal round meeting, scoring twice in the second inning when Michael Mowatt followed Mitchell Chipman's one-out walk with a home run over the left center field fence. The drive was Westbrook's first home run in the tournament, and Zack Gardiner and Finocchiaro followed with solo homers of their own in the third to give Westbrook a 4-1 lead.

Farmington rallied in the fourth, narrowing the deficit with Matt Devaux's RBI single and then tying the game after a pair of bases loaded walks. Gardiner moved from shortstop to the mound, and registered a bases loaded strikeout of Farmington's third-place hitter to end the inning.

Westbrook moved in front for good in the bottom of the inning. Sean Murphy lined a single up the middle to open the inning, and special pinch runner Michael Mowatt moved to second on a groundout. Mowatt advanced to third on Thomas Lemay's swinging bunt single in front of the mound, and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Zach Collett followed with a double to right field that scored Lemay and gave Westbrook a 6-4 lead.

Gardiner, who had allowed only one run in 5-2/3 innings in an earlier relief appearance against Shelburne, then retired the side in order in the final two innings to close out the win.

"We got in the back door, but I knew this team was really strong the entire time," said Knight after the game. "Tonight the bats finally came out."

"When (we) started getting pitches up, missing up, which is where I know (Westbrook) likes to see the ball, I knew we were in trouble," said Farmington manager Bill Spracklin. "You can't do that when you get to this level because they're going to crush it."

The Connecticut manager pointed to Gardiner's bases-loaded strikeout to end the fourth inning as a turning point in the game.

"That was when we needed the baseball gods to kind of shine upon us, and it just didn't happen for us," said Spracklin. "That was a huge at-bat in the game. (If we) get a base hit or something, we get two runs and it's a different ballgame.

"Unfortunately, we ran into a great Maine team that was just pumped to beat us tonight," he added. "They pitched well. We did not play that tightly, and they beat us."

Cranston Western joined Westbrook in the championship game with an 11-4 victory over Bedford (New Hampshire) Little League. The Ocean State champions broke out of a 4-4 tie with a seven run rally in the fifth inning. Dan Bedriarz drew a bases loaded walk to pull Cranston into the lead, and pitcher Peter Parrella then drove a grand slam home run over the center field fence to break open the game. New Hampshire pitchers issued thirteen walks in the game, four of which came with the bases loaded. Six of the batters who drew walks eventually scored.

Parrella overcame the day's muggy weather, striking out ten batters in five innings and winning for the second time in the tournament.

"What more can you say about Peter Parrella?" said Rhode Island coach Keith Kollet. "It must have been 100 degrees out there today. But he pitched through it and was unbelievable. Then he helps his own cause with a grand slam."

"We had the bases loaded twice, but credit their pitching for getting outs," said Bedford manager Cary Buxton. "We kept pressing, but that big inning really turned the game's momentum."

Two days later, Westbrook turned the tournament's momentum, and continued its Phoenix-like rise with the championship game win over Cranston Western.

"This was a positive experience," said Bucci, the Cranston Western manager, of his team's run to the brink of the Little League World Series. "I will remember it the rest of my life, and I know the kids will, too."

"The memories will get greater as time goes on," he added. "Not many kids can say they did this. It was a wonderful experience."

"It was an unbelievable run," agreed Spracklin. "The boys, because they're twelve, I don't think understand the magnitude of what they did for the town and for Little League baseball in the area."

The magnitude of what Westbrook accomplished is equally large. Since the advent of pool play for U.S. region tournaments in 1997, only two other leagues with three pool losses have reached a region championship game (Vermont's South Burlington Little League in 2001 and Northwest Ada Little League from Boise, Idaho, in 2005). Westbrook became the first thrice-beaten team to win a region championship.

"We were just about out of it, just a glimmer of hope," said Knight of his Westbrook team. "Getting to Williamsport is just icing on the cake."


  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Dudley (Massachusetts) 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0 5 1 4 10 7 0
  Pool Play Game 2
Westbrook (Maine) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Farmington (Connecticut) 0 0 0 1 4 x 5 3 0
  Pool Play Game 3
Shelburne (Vermont) 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 9 1
Westbrook (Maine) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 1
  Pool Play Game 4
Bedford (New Hampshire) 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 2
Farmington (Connecticut) 4 0 1 2 0 x 7 6 1
  Pool Play Game 5
Shelburne (Vermont) 0 0 1 0 1 4 3
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 6 8 0 x 14 15 0
  Pool Play Game 6
Dudley (Massachusetts) 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 2
Bedford (New Hampshire) 0 0 0 1 2 x 3 4 2
  Pool Play Game 7
Bedford (New Hampshire) 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 4 2
Westbrook (Maine) 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 7 2
  Pool Play Game 8
Farmington (Connecticut) 6 0 0 0 1 4 11 12 0
Dudley (Massachusetts) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
  Pool Play Game 9
Westbrook (Maine) 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 7 0
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
  Pool Play Game 10
Shelburne (Vermont) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 3
Dudley (Massachusetts) 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 7 1
  Pool Play Game 11
Bedford (New Hampshire) 5 1 4 0 3 3 16 12 4
Shelburne (Vermont) 4 0 1 4 0 1 10 8 6
  Pool Play Game 12
Farmington (Connecticut) 0 10 6 0 16 12 1
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0 0 0 1 1 1 3
  Semifinal Round
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0 4 0 0 7 0 11 6 2
Bedford (New Hampshire) 2 0 1 1 0 0 4 7 1
  Semifinal Round
Farmington (Connecticut) 0 0 1 3 0 0 4 5 0
Westbrook (Maine) 0 2 2 2 0 x 6 9 3
  Championship Game
Westbrook (Maine) 1 1 5 0 0 0 7 7 1
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 2

Toward the past

Toward the present

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