2000 New Jersey State Little League® Tournament Results
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New Jersey State Tournament



Toward the past
2000

Toward the present

New Jersey State Tournament
Host - Little Ferry-South Hackensack (District 6)
At Charles Mastik Memorial Field

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions Pequannock (District 2)
Section 2 Champions Westfield (District 9)
Section 3 Champions Nottingham (Hamilton Square) (District 12)
Section 4 Champions South Vineland (District 3)

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Pequannock 8, Nottingham 2
South Vineland 2, Westfield 1

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
Nottingham 4, Westfield 2 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Pequannock 9, South Vineland 4

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
South Vineland 7, Nottingham 3 (elim.)

Championship Game:
Pequannock 3, South Vineland 2 (TITLE)


Summary:

Chris La Tiempa slammed a two out, two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning to snap a 1-1 tie and propel Pequannock to a 3-2 victory over South Vineland in the championship game of the 2000 New Jersey State Little League Tournament.

Or so the story goes if you only look at the boxscore.

La Tiempa's homer was made possible in part due to the alertness of first base coach Chris Sanson. A pair of curveballs put La Tiempa in an 0-2 hole, and as the South Vineland catcher flashed signs for the next pitch to his pitcher, Sanson saw the sign for a fastball. Following Pequannock's custom, Sanson called La Tiempa's name to alert him to the ensuing pitch.

La Tiempa didn't hear Sanson, but did hear assistant coach Tom Kimak echoing Sanson's warning. He then was able to drive the offering from the Vineland pitcher over the right-center field fence at cozy Charles Mastik Memorial Field in Little Ferry, and provide his team with a 3-1 lead. The edge was just enough for Pequannock pitcher Justin Benckso, who turned in a complete game five-hitter and pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth inning to clinch Pequannock's 3-2 victory and give the District 2 champions their first ever New Jersey state title.

Pequannock graduated its key contributors from its 1999 state runner-up team, but the District 2 champions seemed to learn from its predecessor's setbacks. Pequannock's 1999 squad was victimized by a four-run first inning in their state tournament opening round loss to Toms River East American, and after three consecutive Pequannock wins put the two teams in a winner-take-all title game, Toms River was again able to strike quickly in the title round win.

One year later, Pequannock was the team employing efficient, lethal rallies. Using big innings to quickly pin down their opponents, the District 2 champions registered consecutive victories over longtime New Jersey powerhouses Nottingham, South Vineland, and South Vineland (again) to capture the state title.

Exhibit A in Pequannock's big inning arsenal came in the tournament's opening game. The first five Pequannock batters to come to the plate in the bottom of the first inning all reached base and scored, and Pequannock turned their early 5-0 lead into an eventual 8-2 victory over District 12 juggernaut Nottingham. Three walks and an error gave Pequannock an early lead, and Alex Meyer then blooped a two-run single to increase the lead to 4-0. Pinch hitter Chris Roome's RBI single capped the explosion and put Pequannock firmly in control. Nottingham's Robert Nosasi ripped a two-run homer in the fourth to cut Pequannock's lead to 5-2, but Benckso sent down the next eight hitters he faced to preserve his two-hit complete game victory.

Pequannock's next victim was South Vineland, which defeated Westfield 2-1 in the other opening round matchup. South Vineland took an early 1-0 lead, but Pequannock ripped three home runs as part of a seven-run third inning rally to overwhelm the South Jersey club 9-4 and advance to the championship round.

Ninth-place hitter Eric Kosmack began Pequannock's third-inning outburst. Kosmack, who had never homered prior to the South Vineland game, slapped the first pitch he saw over the left field fence to tie the score at 1-1. Benckso and Doug Jennings followed with infield hits, a walk to Sean Earley loaded the bases and chased South Vineland's starting pitcher, and Chris Stasiak's walk forced home the game's third run. Meyer then delivered a grand slam over the right-center field fence -- the first home run of his Little League career -- and suddenly Pequannock's lead was 6-1. Roome then made it back-to-back blasts with a homer of his own, and Pequannock put the game on cruise control and rolled to the 9-4 win.

South Vineland earned a championship game rematch with Pequannock by dispatching Nottingham 7-3 in the loser's bracket finals. Left-hander Juni Flores came up with the perfect antidote for the short 180-foot dimensions at the Little Ferry ballpark. Flores only struck out three hitters, but he kept the ball down and induced a steady stream of ground ball outs. Flores and Nottingham's Phil Sasko exchanged homers that left the Trenton-area team with a 2-1 lead early, but South Vineland tied the game in the third on Sean Olson's RBI single and took the lead for good on John Vasquez's two-run single later in the inning. Willie Rodriguez put the game away with a three-run homer in the fifth, and SVLL ended the game with a flourish by turning an around-the-horn double play. Pequannock was then again able to vanquish South Vineland and claim their inaugural state title.

Pequannock continued their winning ways at the Eastern Region Tournament in Bristol, Connecticut. The New Jersey champions finished 4-1 in Mid-Atlantic Pool competition, and advanced to the semifinal round before being eliminated by New York's Rolando Paulino Little League 6-3 in the Mid-Atlantic championship game.

Follow Pequannock at the Eastern Region Tournament -- click here to view results.


Linescores:

  Elimination Bracket Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
South Vineland 1 0 3 0 3 0 7 - -
Nottingham 0 2 0 1 0 0 3 6 -
  Championship Game
Pequannock 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 5 -
South Vineland 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 5 -


2000 New Jersey District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results:

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Randolph
D2 - Pequannock
D4 - River Edge
D17 - North Hunterdon National (High Bridge)
D20 - Sparta

Section 1 Tournament
Host - New Milford (District 4)
At John Connelly Field

Tournament Results:
1 - Pequannock 8, Randolph 3
2 - Sparta 5, North Hunterdon National 2
3 - Pequannock 9, River Edge 3
4 - Randolph 1, North Hunterdon National 0 (elim.)
5 - Randolph 6, River Edge 3 (elim.)
6 - Pequannock 4, Sparta 3
7 - Sparta 6, Randolph 1 (elim.)
8 - Pequannock 1, Sparta 0 (TITLE)

D5 - Rutherford American
D6 - Teaneck Southern
D7 - West New York National
D8 - Belleville American
D9 - Westfield

Section 2 Tournament
Host - Secaucus (District 7)
At Buchmuller Park

Tournament Results:
1 - Teaneck Southern 7, Rutherford American 3
2 - Westfield 1, Belleville American 0
3 - West New York National 3, Teaneck Southern 2
4 - Belleville American 3, Rutherford American 0 (elim.)
5 - Belleville American 7, Teaneck Southern 6 (7 innings; elim.)
6 - Westfield 8, West New York National 7
7 - Belleville American 11, West New York National 1 (elim.)
8 - Westfield 7, Belleville American 1 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D10 - Sayreville
D11 - Ocean Township North
D12 - Nottingham (Hamilton Square)
D18 - Lacey
D19 - Freehold Township

Section 3 Tournament
Host - Brick National (District 18)

Tournament Results:
1 - Nottingham 6, Sayreville 1
2 - Ocean Township North 11, Lacey 4
3 - Nottingham 13, Freehold Township 5
4 - Sayreville 6, Lacey 4 (elim.)
5 - Sayreville 3, Freehold Township 0 (elim.)
6 - Nottingham 10, Ocean Township North 3
7 - Ocean Township North 7, Sayreville 0 (elim.)
8 - Nottingham 7, Ocean Township North 6 (TITLE)

D3 - South Vineland
D13 - Cherry Hill American
D14 - Erial
D15 - West Deptford Township
D16 - Somers Point
D21 - Franklin Township

Section 4 Tournament
Held At Multiple Sites
Championship Game Host - Clayton (District 15)

Tournament Results
1 - Franklin Township 7, West Deptford Township 3
2 - Somers Point 9, Cherry Hill American 3
3 - Erial 5, Franklin Township 4
4 - South Vineland 13, Somers Point 1
5 - Somers Point 17, West Deptford Township 2 (elim.)
6 - Franklin Township 7, Cherry Hill American 5 (elim.)
7 - South Vineland 5, Erial 3
8 - Somers Point 6, Franklin Township 3 (elim.)
9 - Somers Point 5, Erial 3 (elim.)
10 - South Vineland 8, Somers Point 3 (TITLE)




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Last revision: 10/26/2003