2007 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 Shelton Shelton National LL
Maine State Champions Portland Portland North LL
Massachusetts State Champions Walpole Walpole American LL
New Hampshire State Champions Portsmouth Portsmouth LL
Rhode Island State Champions Cranston Cranston Western LL
Vermont State Champions Essex Junction Essex Junction LL

NOTE: The 2007 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 3):
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 7, Portland North (Maine) 0
Shelton National (Connecticut) 11, Essex Junction (Vermont) 1 (4 innings)

Day 2 (Saturday, August 4):
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 11, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 1 (4 innings)
Portland North (Maine) 3, Shelton National (Connecticut) 1

Day 3 (Sunday, August 5):
Portland North (Maine) 7, Essex Junction (Vermont) 6
Shelton National (Connecticut) 6, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 5 (9 innings)

Day 4 (Monday, August 6):
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 10, Essex Junction (Vermont) 4
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 8, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0

Day 5 (Tuesday, August 7):
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 8, Portland North (Maine) 2
Shelton National (Connecticut) 3, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 1

Day 6 (Wednesday, August 8):
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 14, Essex Junction (Vermont) 3
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 8, Walpole American (Massachusetts) 7 (8 innings)




Shelton National (Connecticut) 3 1 10
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 3 1 13
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 3 1 15
Portland North (Maine) 2 2 22
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 1 3 25
Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 4 42

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 9)

Walpole American (Massachusetts) 4, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 1
Shelton National (Connecticut) 6, Portland North (Maine) 0

New England Region Tournament Championship Game (Saturday, August 11)

Walpole American (Massachusetts) 14, Shelton National (Connecticut) 4 (5 innings; TITLE)


There was little question coming into the 2007 New England Region tournament championship game that the Walpole American Little League all-star team possessed a potent offense. The Massachusetts champions sported the tournament's highest team batting average (.310 entering the title game), and the team's eight run per game average was more than two runs better than the next highest-scoring team.

"I've been told by a number of coaches here that we're the best-hitting team they've seen here," said Walpole American manager Brian Oberacker on the eve of the title game. "I think they're right. Every player on this roster, 1 through 13, can hit."

But while Walpole had the sticks, they weren't necessarily perceived as a power-hitting team. Nearly three-quarters of the team's 41 hits to that point in the tournament were singles, and the Massachusetts team had hit just five home runs through its first five games.

But power had played a big role in helping Walpole American make its extended run in the international tournament. A grand slam helped the District 11 winners reach the state championship game, then Walpole launched four home runs in a mercy rule victory that lifted the team into the region tournament.

In the New England Region championship game, Walpole American offered a reminder of the power that lurked in its bats.

Walpole slammed six home runs to easily handle Connecticut's Shelton National Little League, 14-4 in five innings, before a crowd of more than 5,700 spectators at Breen Field in Bristol, Connecticut. The victory gave Walpole American a berth in the Little League World Series.

"That Massachusetts team, they hit the ball today," said Connecticut manager Mark Testani after the game. "I don't think anyone could have stopped them today."

"When we play our game, good things happen," said Oberacker.

Walpole's game, at least against Connecticut, involved a huge first inning rally. Shelton National jumped in front on Nick Petrovich's two-run homer in the top of the frame, but Walpole scored six in the bottom of the inning and never trailed again. It was one of three six-plus run rallies for Walpole in the tournament, and one of four innings in the championship game in which the Massachusetts team scored multiple runs.

Matt Bender sparked Walpole's rally when he was hit by a pitch with one out. A walk and Johnny White's single loaded the bases, then Mike LaVita tied the game with a two-run single. After Kyle Donnelly's single re-loaded the bases, Mike Rando drilled a grand slam beyond the left center field fence to put Walpole in control of the game.

Rando's home run -- it was his first of the summer -- was just the opening salvo. Johnny Adams and White launched back-to-back homers in the second inning, and Adams added a two-run shot over the right field fence in the fourth. Two batters later, LaVita connected for a solo home run, and in the fifth, pitcher Joey Guarino lined a pitch over the left field fence.

Matt Bender's double and Adams' single later in the inning produced Walpole American's 14th run and invoked the mercy rule.

"Mike Rando had that grand slam and Joe Guarino, the pitcher, he put one out," said Oberacker, pointing to a pair of Walpole's unlikely power sources. "(That's) the first that I'd seen, and I've been coaching Joe for five years."

"I didn't think they'd hit that many home runs," said Testani. "It was nice to get that early lead, but when they bounced back with a bundle of their own, we knew that it was going to be a difficult day for us. But I never thought that they would run away with it like they did."

Walpole's fourteen hit attack -- Adams had three hits, while Bender, White, and LaVita added two each -- was a welcome sight after the team managed a tournament-low six in their 4-1 semifinal round win over Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Little League. Pitcher Sam Falkson threw a complete game four-hitter and kept the defending New England champions off the scoreboard after surrendering an unearned run in the first inning.

"It takes Sammy a little time to find the strike zone, but once he found it today, he was dialed in," said Oberacker.

Walpole carried a precarious 2-1 advantage before a generous bounce helped them to add a pair of runs in the fifth. A pair of walks sandwiched around Adams' single loaded the bases, and with two outs, Falkson grounded a 2-2 pitch toward first base. The ball hit the bag and lept over the first baseman's head, allowing Rando and Adams to score.

"One foot to the left and it would have been a 2-1 ballgame," said Portsmouth manager Mark McCauley of Falkson's game-clinching inning hit.

Portsmouth took an early lead when Kurtis Leonard (ten RBIs in the tournament) drove in Dillon Crosby with a sharp single to right field. Walpole tied the game on Adams' run-scoring single in the third, then took the lead in the fourth when Guarino's single up the middle scored LaVita.

Falkson struck out six and allowed just three infield hits in addition to Leonard's run-producing single. The right-hander retired ten of the final eleven batters he faced.

"He's a tough pitcher," said McCauley. "He kept us off-balance all (day)."

Falkson had also earned the win in Walpole American's initial game at Bristol, a 11-1 victory over Cranston Western (Rhode Island) Little League on the tournament's second day. Walpole had runners in scoring position with less than two outs in each of the first three innings, but managed only one run and entered the fourth inning deadlocked with the Rhode Island champions.

Walpole finally broke through, turning a tie game into a mercy rule win in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sullivan opened the rally with a hard single to right center field, and later scored when Adams laced a double into the left center field gap. LaVita drew a bases loaded walk to score a second run, then Falkson legged out an infield hit to plate another. Donnelly drove home a pair with a base hit to left field, Sullivan drew a bases loaded walk, and Bender capped the inning with a grand slam to right center field that ended the game.

"It's always hard to leave runners in scoring position, but I knew that it was only a matter of time before we came through with some clutch hits," said Oberacker.

"Our guys did a great job today taking (Cranston's pitcher) to long counts and being picky at the plate," added the Massachusetts manager, whose team drew nine walks in the game. "(We) really waited for that fastball and made him throw a lot of pitches."

Walpole American continued its winning ways, extending its winning streak to seventeen games since the start of the international tournament with a 10-4 win over Essex Junction (Vermont) Little League and an 8-2 decision over Portland North (Maine) Little League. The Massachusetts champions trailed Essex Junction 4-3 late in the game before striking for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to claim the victory.

"Hitting is always contagious," said Oberacker after his team collected five of their eleven hits in the decisive rally. "All you've got to do is get up there, see that ball and put it in play. And we strung a couple together, luckily, in the (fifth) inning."

Donnelly opened the rally with a single to left, then moved to third on pinch hitter Mike Cabral's double. Falkson tied the game with an infield hit, and after Walpole American re-loaded the bases, Bender lined a two-strike pitch into right field for a double, and a third run scored after a throwing error on the play. Walpole added three more runs on a later throwing error and White's steal of home.

"We didn't get to play our best ball today," said Oberacker after the game. "I think we had our 'B' game. We were lucky to capitalize on a couple of mistakes."

The next day, Walpole again took advantage of defensive breakdowns in the win over Portland North. Home runs by White, Brian Wolpe, and Donnelly helped the Bay State team to a 4-2 advantage, then a pair of errors fueled a four-run rally in the fifth inning.

Falkson allowed just one hit in the first two innings, and LaVita held the Maine offense in check over the remaining four innings of a rare pitching appearance.

"We had eleven K's and I think (six) came from Mike LaVita, who hasn't pitched since the districts," said Oberacker. "It's been three full weeks since he's seen the mound. We couldn't ask for anything more out of him."

Walpole clinched a semifinal round berth with the win, then saw their winning streak end in an 8-7, eight inning loss to Portsmouth on the final day of pool play.

"We've been on a great ride," said Oberacker, whose team avenged the loss in the semifinal round the next day. "But going (into) Bristol, we knew we were going to face some phenomenal teams, and you saw one there in Portsmouth."

Shelton National was another strong opponent, earning the top seed in the semifinal round thanks to three wins in four pool games. The Connecticut champions, who drew huge crowds thanks to the town's proximity to Bristol, then advanced to the championship game after blanking Portland North, 6-0, in the second semifinal round matchup.

"It's just so amazing to be able to get this far," said Testani, the Connecticut manager. Shelton National had lost its very first tournament game in the double-elimination district tournament before reeling off fourteen consecutive wins against Connecticut opponents.

"To have it all come down to the semifinals and finals to get to the World Series is amazing."

Jacob Lennertz helped lift Shelton National past Portland North, striking out thirteen batters and allowing just three hits in a complete game effort. He also walked and scored on David Sanchez's single as the Connecticut team extended a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.

"I'm not surprised at how well Jacob (Lennertz) pitched," said Testani. "He's capable of doing it every time he goes out there. He kept changing his pitches and kept them off-balance."

Petrovich carried the load offensively, delivering a two-run single and a two-run homer as Shelton National avenged their only pool competition loss.

"Last time we played them, we hit the ball hard, but they got all the breaks," said Testani.

Two days later, it was Walpole that brought the heavy lumber, as the District 11 winners became Massachusetts' first Little League World Series qualifier in four years with their mercy rule win in the championship game.

"I'm so proud of these guys for this accomplishment," said Oberacker. "They've all dreamed of this since they were little kids."

With a little help from their big bats, Walpole American's big dreams came true.


  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 2 2 0 1 0 2 7 8 3
Portland North (Maine) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
  Pool Play Game 2
Shelton National (Connecticut) 2 3 0 6 0 0 11 10 0
Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 4
  Pool Play Game 3
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 0 0 1 10 0 x 11 6 0
  Pool Play Game 4
Portland North (Maine) 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 5 1
Shelton National (Connecticut) 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
  Pool Play Game 5
Essex Junction (Vermont) 2 0 3 1 0 0 6 7 2
Portland North (Maine) 0 0 0 3 0 4 7 11 3
  Pool Play Game 6
Shelton National (Connecticut) 0 0 0 1 3 1 0 0 1 6 12 2
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 1 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 5 8 1
  Pool Play Game 7
Essex Junction (Vermont) 1 0 0 0 3 0 4 5 5
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 3 0 0 0 7 x 10 11 1
  Pool Play Game 8
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 0 0 3 3 0 2 8 8 2
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3
  Pool Play Game 9
Portland North (Maine) 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 5 3
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 2 0 2 0 4 x 8 9 0
  Pool Play Game 10
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 0
Shelton National (Connecticut) 0 0 1 0 2 x 3 5 0
  Pool Play Game 11
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 5 0 5 0 4 14 11 1
Essex Junction (Vermont) 0 0 0 1 2 3 5 2
  Pool Play Game 12
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 1 1 0 0 0 1 4 1 8 9 6
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 1 0 0 0 2 0 4 0 7 9 1
  Semifinal Round
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 0 0 1 1 2 0 4 6 1
Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
  Semifinal Round
Shelton National (Connecticut) 0 0 3 1 2 0 6 8 1
Portland North (Maine) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3
  Championship Game
Shelton National (Connecticut) 2 1 1 0 0 4 8 2
Walpole American (Massachusetts) 6 2 0 4 2 14 14 1

Toward the past

Toward the present

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