2003 Little League® Baseball Southwestern Region Tournament
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Southwestern Region Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

Toward the present

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

Pool 'A' Participants City League
Arkansas State Champions Bryant Bryant Athletic LL
Louisiana State Champions Lake Charles South Lake Charles LL
Mississippi State Champions Picayune P.Y.A.A. LL
Texas West Divisional Champions Odessa Jim Parker LL

Pool 'B' Participants City League
Colorado State Champions Colorado Springs Academy LL
New Mexico State Champions Artesia Artesia LL
Oklahoma State Champions Tulsa Tulsa National LL
Texas East Divisional Champions Richmond Lamar National LL

NOTE: The 2003 Southwestern Region Tournament used a pool play format. At the completion of 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 4):
Jim Parker (Texas West) 13, Picayune Youth Athletic Association (Mississippi) 5
Academy (Colorado) 6, Artesia (New Mexico) 3
Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 8, South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 7
Lamar National (Texas East) 12, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 (4 innings)

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 5):
Artesia (New Mexico) 4, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 2
Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 7, Picayune Youth Athletic Association (Mississippi) 3
Lamar National (Texas East) 10, Academy (Colorado) 3
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 3, Jim Parker (Texas West) 2

Round 3 (Wednesday, August 6):
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 9, Picayune Youth Athletic Association (Mississippi) 4
Lamar National (Texas East) 10, Artesia (New Mexico) 0 (4 innings) (NO-HITTER)
Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 7, Jim Parker (Texas West) 4
Academy (Colorado) 7, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 5

Pool 'A' Standings



Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 3 0 14
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 2 1 14
Jim Parker (Texas West) 1 2 15
Picayune Youth Athletic Association (Mississippi) 0 3 29

Pool 'B' Standings



Lamar National (Texas East) 3 0 3
Academy (Colorado) 2 1 18
Artesia (New Mexico) 1 2 18
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 3 23

The top two teams in each pool at the conclusion of round-robin play 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.

Southwestern Region Tournament Semifinals (Friday, August 8)

Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 7, Academy (Colorado) 6 (7 innings)
Lamar National (Texas East) 1, South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 0

Southwestern Region Tournament Championship Game (Sunday, August 10)

Lamar National (Texas East) 5, Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 3 (TITLE)


Some 1,322 miles separate the city of Richmond, Texas, from South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The 2003 Lamar National Little League (Richmond, Texas) all-star team learned that you make the journey an inch at a time.

Lamar National was on its heels, trailing resilient Arkansas state champion Bryant Athletic Little League 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning of the Southwest Region championship game at Marvin Norcross Stadium in Waco. For the fourth time in five region tournament games, the Texans had jumped into the lead in their first at-bat, striking for a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. But Bryant responded, overcoming a deficit for the fifth time in as many games with a three run rally in the top of the third.

Then Lamar's Robert Psenka's spinning dribbler down the first base line curled back into fair territory and rolled to a dead stop just inside the foul line with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. Psenka raced to first to keep the inning alive with the most meager of infield hits, and three pitches later, Brian Foster drove a three-run homer over the left-center field fence to give his team the lead for good. Lamar National held on, and defeated Bryant Athletic 5-3 to claim the region championship and advance to the Little League World Series.

"Baseball is a game of inches, and every team needs some things to go their way, said Lamar National manager Jim Michalek after the game. "We got one tonight, and Brian took advantage of it.

"It was about as clutch of a hit as you could ask for."

It marked the second consecutive game in which the Texans took an inch and made it a mile. In the semifinal round, Lamar National edged South Lake Charles (Louisiana) Little League when Marcus Martinez drove a single just past the outstreched glove of a diving Louisiana third baseman with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cody Robinson, who had led off with a double, scored from third base to give Lamar National a 1-0 win and a berth in the region championship game.

Lamar National's progression toward Waco was delayed during the Section 4 tournament in July when Hurricane Claudette slammed into the Texas gulf coast and left the Inez Little League complex unplayable for several days. The Texas East champions later demonstrated that Claudette wasn't the only powerful force steaming inland, outscoring three pool opponents by a 32-3 margin and winning two games by the mercy rule at the region tournament. Lamar National pitchers held the opposition to a total of four hits in pool competition, while the offense scored in double-digits in each pool game.

Psenka led the way for Lamar National in the opener, delivering a pair of RBI singles and striking out the side in the first inning of an abbreviated mound appearance. Lamar National scored seven unearned runs in the first two innings, allowing Jim Michalek to preserve his pitching options by sending a stream of pitchers to the mound. Psenka and four relievers combined to strike out nine batters and allow only one hit in four combined innings of work.

"We were able to accomplish a few of our objectives," said Jim Michalek of the opportunities presented by the early lead. "Like (being) able to look at some guys on the hill that we haven't had much of an opportunity to do so in the past."

Lamar National was helped by six Oklahoma errors, and then by seven more in a 10-3 win over Academy Little League (Colorado Springs, Colorado) the next day. Four of the Academy errors came in the top of the first inning, when Lamar National jumped to a 4-0 lead. Eli Sepulveda started the rally with a one-out solo home run, and Robinson followed with a double off the wall before scoring on a wild pitch. Garrett Staudt reached on an error and scored on Psenka's single, and Psenka scored on a fielding error following Randall Grichuk's single to left field. Sepulveda and Robinson (4-for-4 on the day) drove in two more runs in the fourth before Psenka's two-run homer iced the win.

"We swung the bats better," said Jim Michalek of his team's improved hitting in the second pool game. "We hit in the cage much better today as compared to yesterday, and that showed up in the game."

The next day, with gametime temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, the Texas East champions made quick work of Artesia (New Mexico) Little League in a four-inning, 10-0 victory. Lamar National's offense delivered fifteen hits in three-plus innings, and starting pitcher Garrett Staudt hurled a four inning no-hitter.

"It was a nice offensive display against some pretty tough conditions out there heat-wise," said Jim Michalek. "We stressed to them that we could not make the heat an issue and they responded."

Lamar National's offense responded with a quick start for the third game in a row. Jimmy Michalek led off the bottom of the first with a double off the fence, and Sepulveda, Robinson, Foster, and Brady Rogers all delivered RBI singles in the inning. Lamar National added two more in the second, and the combination of Martinez's two-run single and Chris Smith's two run homer involked the mercy rule in the fourth.

While the Lamar offense feasted, Staudt kept Artesia in check, striking out nine and walking only one batter.

"Garrett threw as complete a game as I have seen him throw during the entire all-star run," said Michalek. "He had incredible command of both his breaking pitch and his fastball."

The solid pitching carried Lamar National through the semifinal round, as well. Psenka and South Lake Charles pitcher Zachary Von Rosenberg were both superb, with Psenka allowing only two hits and Von Rosenberg shutting down the potent Texas offense before Martinez's sixth inning heroics.

The next day, Foster delivered the fatal blow as Lamar National rallied past Bryant Athletic to advance to South Williamsport.

"This team is blessed with the confidence that they expect to win," said Jim Michalek after his team's comeback against Arkansas. "They don't seem to get uptight and nervous. They really enjoy the game of basball, and they play like it."

Lamar National's resiliency was on full display at the Little League World Series. The new Southwest Region champions won two of their three pool games, and then staged a frenzied comeback to force extra innings after trailing Saugus American (Massachusetts) Little League 10-4 in the sixth inning of the U.S. semifinal round. Lamar National took the lead in the eighth inning before Saugus American staged their own comeback to claim a wild 14-13 victory.

I could never articulate the guts that they showed tonight," said Jim Michalek of his team's sixth inning comeback. "Im incredibly, shockingly pleased with those kids."

Jim Michalek saw his team's tenacity, and knew it had been a key intangible for Lamar National throughout the international tournament. Protecting a lead or playing from behind, one thing was clear.

Lamar National never gave an inch.


  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Jim Parker (Texas West) 3 0 2 0 5 3 13 10 1
P.Y.A.A. (Mississippi) 0 3 0 2 0 0 5 5 8
  Pool Play Game 2
Academy (Colorado) 0 0 1 0 0 5 6 11 0
Artesia (New Mexico) 0 0 0 1 0 2 3 3 1
  Pool Play Game 3
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 0 1 0 1 3 2 7 11 2
Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 0 3 0 5 0 x 8 4 0
  Pool Play Game 4
Lamar National (Texas East) 4 3 0 5 12 8 1
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 0 0 0 0 1 6
  Pool Play Game 5
Artesia (New Mexico) 0 3 0 0 0 1 4 7 0
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 3
  Pool Play Game 6
P.Y.A.A. (Mississippi) 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 6 4
Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 0 1 0 0 6 x 7 10 1
  Pool Play Game 7
Lamar National (Texas East) 4 0 0 4 0 2 10 10 2
Academy (Colorado) 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 3 7
  Pool Play Game 8
Jim Parker (Texas West) 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 5 2
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 0 3 0 0 0 x 3 3 2
  Pool Play Game 9
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 2 0 0 0 2 5 9 6 0
P.Y.A.A. (Mississippi) 0 0 0 3 1 0 4 7 7
  Pool Play Game 10
Artesia (New Mexico) 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Lamar National (Texas East) 5 1 0 4 10 15 1
  Pool Play Game 11
Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 0 3 0 0 4 0 7 6 3
Jim Parker (Texas West) 3 1 0 0 0 0 4 5 3
  Pool Play Game 12
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 3 1 0 1 0 0 5 6 3
Academy (Colorado) 0 0 5 2 0 x 7 8 2
  Semifinal Round
Academy (Colorado) 0 2 2 0 0 2 0 6 11 2
Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 0 0 2 4 0 0 1 7 8 4
  Semifinal Round
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Lamar National (Texas East) 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 1
  Championship Game
Bryant Athletic (Arkansas) 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 5 2
Lamar National (Texas East) 2 0 3 0 0 x 5 5 1

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/20/2004