2002 Little League® Baseball Southwestern Region Tournament
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Southwestern Region Tournament

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Southwestern Region Tournament
Host - Southwestern Region Headquarters; Waco, Texas
At Marvin Norcross Stadium

Pool 'A' Participants City League
Arkansas State Champions Benton Benton National LL
Colorado State Champions Boulder North Boulder LL
Louisiana State Champions Lake Charles South Lake Charles LL
New Mexico State Champions Roswell Noon Optimist LL
Pool 'B' Participants City League
Mississippi State Champions Ocean Springs Ocean Springs LL
Oklahoma State Champions Tulsa Tulsa National LL
East Texas Divisional Champions Sugar Land First Colony American LL
West Texas Divisional Champions Fort Worth Fort Worth Westside LL

NOTE: The Southwestern Region Tournament was organized into two four-team pools. After round-robin pool competition, the top two teams in each pool advanced to single-elimination semifinal and championship round games.

Click here to view State Tournament results for Southwestern Region Tournament participants.

Tournament Results:

Round 1 (Monday, August 5):
Benton National (Arkansas) 3, North Boulder (Colorado) 0
Fort Worth Westside (Texas West) 7, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 1
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 5, Roswell Noon Optimist (New Mexico) 2
First Colony American (Texas East) 4, Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 0

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 6):
Fort Worth Westside (Texas West) 5, Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 0
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 10, North Boulder (Colorado) 3
First Colony American (Texas East) 13, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 1 (5 innings)
Benton National (Arkansas) 2, Roswell Noon Optimist (New Mexico) 0

Round 3 (Wednesday, August 7):
Roswell Noon Optimist (New Mexico) 4, North Boulder (Colorado) 2
First Colony American (Texas East) 8, Fort Worth Westside (Texas West) 2
Benton National (Arkansas) 3, South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 1
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 2, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 1 (NO-HITTER)

Pool 'A' Tournament Standings


Benton National (Arkansas) 3 0 1
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 2 1 8
Roswell Noon Optimist (New Mexico) 1 2 9
North Boulder (Colorado) 0 3 17

Pool 'B' Tournament Standings


First Colony American (Texas East) 3 0 3
Fort Worth Westside (Texas West) 2 1 9
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 1 2 10
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 3 22

The top two teams in each pool advanced to semifinal round competition.

Ties are broken based on records in head-to-head competition among tied teams. In the event of a three-way tie, the initial tie is broken based on fewest runs allowed per defensive inning played. The tie between the remaining two teams is then broken based on head-to-head record.

Semifinal Round (Friday, August 9)

Fort Worth Westside (Texas West) 8, Benton National (Arkansas) 5
First Colony American (Texas East) 4, South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 1

Championship Game (Sunday, August 11)

Fort Worth Westside (Texas West) 2, First Colony American (Texas East) 0 (TITLE)


Walker Kelly retired the first ten batters he faced and fired a two-hitter as his Fort Worth Westside Little League all-star team defeated First Colony American (Sugar Land, East Texas) Little League 2-0 in the championship game of the Southwestern Region Little League Tournament in Waco, Texas.

The win vaulted Fort Worth Westside into the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Kelly allowed only three baserunners and struck out eight on a hot, humid night. Despite the post-dusk starting time, the temperature at game time was 96 degrees, and humidity levels reached 90%.

Fort Worth, the champions of West Texas, siezed control of the game in the first inning. Kelly retired the side in order in the top of the frame, and Fort Worth struck for the game's only runs in the bottom of the inning. Jeffrey Vanderhamm and Rand Ravnaas opened Westside's rally with singles, and after Kelly forced Vanderhamm for the inning's first out, Mikey Valdez drove a single to left center field that scored Ravnaas. Kelly moved to third on the hit, and later scored on a passed ball.

Kelly made sure that the early edge was enough. He struck out the side in the second and third innings, carried a perfect game into the fourth, and stymied a First Colony offense that had scored 29 runs and smashed thirteen home runs in its four previous region tournament games.

"Walker never pitched better," said his father and Fort Worth's coach, Jon Kelly. "We were big underdogs tonight. I'm just overwhelmed."

First Colony American threatened in the fourth, when Taylor Overbey drew a one-out walk and Dylan Thornwaldson singled to left. But Overbey's pinch runner, who had moved to second on a passed ball, overran third base on Thornwaldson's hit, and was thrown out by Fort Worth left fielder Chester Hamilton as he scrambled back to the bag. Kelly retired the next batter to end the threat, and allowed only one more baserunner over the remainder of the game.

Fort Worth reached the championship game at the region tournament by finishing second in its pool during round-robin competition and then rallying past Benton National (Arkansas) Little League 8-5 in the semifinal round.

Their only loss of the tournament was in a meaningless pool game against First Colony American that was played after both teams had clinched semifinal round berths.

Fort Worth clinched a semifinal round berth by winning its first two games in pool competition. Westside opened with a 7-1 win over Tulsa National (Oklahoma) Little League, and then shut out Ocean Springs (Mississippi) Little League 5-0 the following day.

Walker Kelly's offered a prelude to his championship game effort in the win over Ocean Springs. The left-hander retired the first eleven batters he faced before finishing with a three-hitter, and struck out twelve batters. While Walker Kelly was shutting down the Mississippi champions, Fort Worth's offense methodically built a lead. A wild pitch and sacrifice fly plated two runs in the first inning, and Mark Grace's two-run single in the fourth upped the lead to 4-0. In the fifth, Vanderhamm tripled and then scored on Ravnaas' groundout.

While Fort Worth relied on station-to-station baseball for its offense, First Colony American opted for a less subtle approach. The East Texas champions hit at least two home runs in each of its Southwest Region tournament games prior to the championship game. Thornwaldson and Overbey launched back-to-back homers three times, including twice during a 13-1 thrashing of Tulsa National. Thornwaldson and Matt Heitzer also hit consecutive homers in the top of the first inning of First Colony's 4-1 semifinal round win over South Lake Charles (Louisiana) Little League. Thornwalson, who led the tournament with five home runs, added a second round-tripper later as First Colony advanced to the championship game.

Fort Worth needed two late rallies to move past Benton National in its 8-5 semifinal round win. The Arkansas champions, who allowed only one run over the course of three wins in Pool 'A' competition, took a 4-1 lead into the fifth inning against Fort Worth Westside thanks to Shane Wilson's three-run homer in the fourth. Fort Worth responded: Vanderhamm, Ravnaas, and Valdez singled, and an untimely Arkansas error helped the Texans tie the score. After Benton National moved in front with a run in the bottom of the fifth, Westside greeted an Arkansas relief pitcher with four runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead for good. Walker Kelly pitched a scoreless sixth inning in relief of Valdez, and Fort Worth advanced to the all-Texas championship game.

Following the win over First Colony American, Fort Worth Westside won two of its three pool games at the Little League World Series, and reached the United States semifinals. In a prime time, nationally-televised game against eventual series champion Valley Sports American (Louisville, Kentucky) Little League, Walker Kelly and Kentucky pitcher Aaron Alvey both carried no-hitters through the regulation six innings and combined for a Little League World Series record 40 strikeouts before switching positions after nine scoreless innings. Zach Osbourne and Alvey delivered back-to-back home runs in the top of the eleventh to provide the game's first runs, and Valley Sports American held on for a 2-1 win.


  Championship Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
First Colony American 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Fort Worth Westside 2 0 0 0 0 x 2 4 0

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Last revision: 06/12/2004