2008 Little League® Baseball New England Region Tournament
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New England Region Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

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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 Camden Camden-Rockport LL
Massachusetts State Champions West Roxbury/Roslindale Parkway National LL
New Hampshire State Champions Manchester Manchester North LL
Rhode Island State Champions Cranston Cranston Western LL
Vermont State Champions Williston Williston LL

NOTE: The 2008 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 1):
Parkway National (Massachusetts) 11, Williston (Vermont) 1 (4 innings)
Shelton National (Connecticut) 12, Camden-Rockport (Maine) 1 (4 innings)

Day 2 (Saturday, August 2):
Williston (Vermont) 8, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 7
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 8, Camden-Rockport (Maine) 1

Day 3 (Sunday, August 3):
Parkway National (Massachusetts) 10, Camden-Rockport (Maine) 5
Shelton National (Connecticut) 10, Williston (Vermont) 0 (4 innings)

Day 4 (Monday, August 4):
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 2, Parkway National (Massachusetts) 1
Shelton National (Connecticut) 4, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0

Day 5 (Tuesday, August 5):
Williston (Vermont) 6, Manchester North (New Hampshire) 4
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 13, Camden-Rockport (Maine) 1 (4 innings)

Day 6 (Wednesday, August 6):
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 7, Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 4
Shelton National (Connecticut) 8, Parkway National (Massachusetts) 0




Shelton National (Connecticut) 4 0 1
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 3 1 12
Parkway National (Massachusetts) 2 2 16
Williston (Vermont) 2 2 32
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 1 3 20
Camden-Rockport (Maine) 0 4 43

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 7)

Shelton National (Connecticut) 12, Williston (Vermont) 0 (4 innings)
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 5, Parkway National (Massachusetts) 2

New England Region Tournament Championship Game (Saturday, August 9)

Shelton National (Connecticut) 2, Manchester North (New Hampshire) 1 (TITLE)


On the eve of the 2008 New England Region tournament, Shelton National (Connecticut) Little League manager Ed Szymansky tried to describe the importance to his team of its standout middle infielders, shortstop Matt Batten and second baseman Tyler Tice.

"Those two guys have been playing all-stars since they were nine years old," said Szymansky of his team's only returning players from Shelton National's 2007 New England Region runner-up squad. "They've been playing shortstop and second base on every all-star team they've ever played on. If you watch them take infield, it's like watching the dynamic duo out there. It's incredible."

Batten and Tice anchored Shelton National's middle infield positions, and were slotted one-two in the batting order just as they had been during the league's extended tournament run in 2007. And while Szymansky didn't elaborate on which of the two holdovers played the role of Batman and which was Robin, the bat signal was definitely lighting up the sky as the 2008 region championship game progressed. Shelton had dominated the competition throughout the tournament, outscoring five opponents by a 46-1 margin, but their season was in jeopardy as Manchester North (New Hampshire) Little League grabbed an early 1-0 lead and kept the Connecticut team off the scoreboard through the game's first five innings. One year after the Connecticut league's season ended on the cusp of the Little League World Series, Shelton National was teetering, heartbreakingly close to South Williamsport but on the brink of elimination at the same point along the tournament trail.

Then Tice answered the call. The Connecticut second baseman gave his team new life, slamming a high fastball well beyond the left center field fence to tie the game when Shelton was down to its final two outs. Two batters later, first baseman Marcello Ursini broke the tie, driving a one-strike curveball over the left field fence for his fourth home run of the tournament. Shelton held on in the bottom of the inning, and defeated Manchester North, 2-1, to advance to the Little League World Series.

"There's no die in these kids," said Szymansky after Shelton National became the first Connecticut league in 19 years to advance to South Williamsport. "They just bring it every game."

Shelton National had scored in the first inning in each of its previous games at Bristol, and had yet to trail at the regional before Manchester North opened the scoring in the second inning. Catcher Nick Makris lined a 2-0 fastball over the left field fence to put his team in front, and pitcher Carmen Giampetruzzi made the lead hold up for much of the game. The left-hander mixed his fastball and curveball effectively, striking out nine, walking none, and holding a Connecticut team that hit a blistering .386 to that point in the tournament to just two hits.

"He was locating his pitches well throughout the game until that last inning," said Manchester South manager Tom Flynn. "He got a curve up a little and they took it for a home run, but he was great. He had their guys off-balance. They're a great hitting team, and he came through."

"He was a quality left-handed pitcher," agreed Szymansky. "He mixed it up pretty well. But we knew as long as we had innings left, we'd come back and find a way to win."

While Giampetruzzi kept Connecticut's big bats in check, Shelton National fireballer Bobby Moretti did the same. The right-hander allowed his first run in 13-plus innings of work at Bristol on Makris' home run, but shut down Manchester North after that and struck out ten while allowing just three hits.

One of the three hits was Giampetruzzi's leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth, when Manchester North mounted a last-ditch rally. Moretti reached his pitch count limit while striking out the next hitter, and reliever Eddie Kochiss surrendered a single to Tres Beeson before ending the game by inducing a grounder and a pop out.

"You won't see a better game than that -- absolutely not," said Szymansky.

"These guys all dug deep and showed why they're such a great team," added the Connecticut manager. "They're the ones that had to tough it out. Baseball's an emotional game. One out, top of the sixth -- they rose to the occasion."

Shelton National's strong finish wrapped up an impressive week at Bristol. The teams' statistics paint an imposing picture: Shelton's pitchers held opposing hitters to a .125 batting average and allowed a total of two runs over six games. Seven different Connecticut players cleared the fences, and the Nutmeg State team homered at least twice in every game. Tice batted .588 (10-for-17), while Moretti (.471), Batten (.439), and Ursini (.417) were also tough outs for opposing pitchers. And in the one pool game where Shelton was tested, a 4-0 decision over Cranston Western (Rhode Island) Little League, the team's defense turned in a string of highlight reel plays that kept Shelton in the game until the team's offense took over.

"That team was as good as any team that I have seen in a long, long time," said veteran Rhode Island manager Gary Bucci.

"Connecticut is a good team," agreed Parkway National Little League (West Roxbury/Roslindale, Massachussetts) manager John Picarello, whose team managed only one hit in an 8-0 pool loss. "We knew we would have to play perfectly to beat them."

Moretti and Kochiss anchored the pitching staff, picking up a pair of wins each during pool competition. Then Tice, normally the team's second pitcher, turned in a two-hit shutout in a 12-0 thrashing of Williston (Vermont) Little League in the semifinal round. Tice struck out ten in the win, and also kick-started the Shelton offense with a solo home run in the first inning. The Connecticut team then capitalized on a string of untimely errors, scoring eleven unearned runs in the second and third innings after Williston miscues extended the innings. Moretti and Ursini capped the scoring with consecutive home runs in the third that pushed the Connecticut lead to double-digits. It was the third consecutive game in which Ursini homered, and his most important blast was still a game away.

"We're not one of those teams that's just happy to be here," explained Szymansky after his team overwhelmed the Vermonters and returned to the championship game. "We're on a mission. But it's one game at a time."

Shelton National's mission included the late inning heroics against Manchester North. The New Hampshire champions had won three of their four pool games, then defeated Parkway National, 5-2, in the semifinal round. Manchester pitcher Collin Duffley struck out fourteen batters in a complete game effort, and retired 17 of the final 19 hitters he faced after Parkway National scored twice in the top of the first inning.

"That was probably the best game he's pitched," said Flynn, the New Hampshire manager. "It was fantastic, and awesome job -- epecially when he came back afer being down two (runs)."

As in the championship game, Makris provided the key blow offensively for the New Hampshire champions, slamming a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to cap a four-run rally. It was the Manchester catcher's first hit of the tournament.

Two days later, Makris' second home run was nearly enough, as Giampetruzzi and his Manchester North teammates pushed Shelton National to the brink of elimination. But Moretti's pitching and the timely bats of Tice and Ursini helped the Connecticut team scratch its way to a win, and in the process, punch its ticket to Williamsport.

"There's no words to say how exciting this is," said Stan Kudej, Shelton National's longtime league president during the tournament. "You don't expect to repeat. It's so darned hard."

Unquestionably so, but with the dynamic duo patrolling the middle infield, and a cast of other superheroes manning the other positions, Shelton National was soon able to convert its tremendous potential into a memorable, Williamsport-bound summer.


  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Williston (Vermont) 0 0 1 0 1 5 2
Parkway National (Massachusetts) 9 0 2 x 11 7 0
  Pool Play Game 2
Camden-Rockport (Maine) 0 0 0 1 1 4 2
Shelton National (Connecticut) 1 4 4 3 12 10 1
  Pool Play Game 3
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 1 0 3 0 0 3 7 11 4
Williston (Vermont) 0 0 0 0 1 7 8 7 1
  Pool Play Game 4
Camden-Rockport (Maine) 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 3
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 2 0 1 4 1 x 8 9 1
  Pool Play Game 5
Camden-Rockport (Maine) 1 0 0 1 3 0 5 7 1
Parkway National (Massachusetts) 2 2 5 1 0 x 10 4 4
  Pool Play Game 6
Williston (Vermont) 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Shelton National (Connecticut) 2 0 5 3 10 9 0
  Pool Play Game 7
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 7 0
Parkway National (Massachusetts) 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1
  Pool Play Game 8
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Shelton National (Connecticut) 1 0 3 0 0 x 4 4 1
  Pool Play Game 9
Williston (Vermont) 0 0 0 4 2 0 6 8 2
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 0 0 2 0 1 1 4 6 1
  Pool Play Game 10
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 6 3 2 2 13 14 0
Camden-Rockport (Maine) 1 0 0 0 1 3 5
  Pool Play Game 11
Cranston Western (Rhode Island) 3 0 0 0 0 1 4 6 2
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 0 1 1 2 3 x 7 5 2
  Pool Play Game 12
Parkway National (Massachusetts) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Shelton National (Connecticut) 2 1 3 2 0 x 8 8 0
  Semifinal Round
Williston (Vermont) 0 0 0 0 0 2 3
Shelton National (Connecticut) 1 4 7 x 12 8 0
  Semifinal Round
Parkway National (Massachusetts) 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 4 1 0 0 0 x 5 5 2
  Championship Game
Shelton National (Connecticut) 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 4 0
Manchester North (New Hampshire) 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 1

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Last revision: 05/29/2009