2008 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
Mississippi State Champions Ocean Springs Ocean Springs LL
New Mexico State Champions Albuquerque Eastdale LL
Oklahoma State Champions Tulsa Tulsa National LL
Texas East State Champions Richmond Lamar American LL

Pool 'B' Participants City League
Arkansas State Champions White Hall White Hall LL
Colorado State Champions Grand Junction Grand Mesa LL
Louisiana State Champions Lake Charles South Lake Charles LL
Texas West State Champions Lubbock Lubbock Southwest LL

NOTE: Participants in the 2008 Southwestern Region Tournament were divided into two pools. All teams with two or more wins in pool competition advanced to the tournament's second phase.

Click here to view state tournament results for Southwestern Region Tournament participants.

Tournament Results:

Day 1 (Friday, August 1):
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 11, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 2
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 10, Grand Mesa (Colorado) 0 (4 innings)
Lamar American (Texas East) 12, Eastdale (New Mexico) 8
Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 9, White Hall (Arkansas) 6

Day 2 (Saturday, August 2):
Eastdale (New Mexico) 11, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 4
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 17, White Hall (Arkansas) 0 (4 innings)
Lamar American (Texas East) 8, Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 1
Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 14, Grand Mesa (Colorado) 0 (4 innings)

Day 3 (Sunday, August 3):
White Hall (Arkansas) 12, Grand Mesa (Colorado) 2 (4 innings)

Day 4 (Monday, August 4):
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 10, Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 0 (4 innings)
Lamar American (Texas East) 17, Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 (4 innings)
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 13, Eastdale (New Mexico) 6

Pool 'A' Standings


Lamar American (Texas East) 3 0
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 2 1
Eastdale (New Mexico) 1 2
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 3

Pool 'B' Standings


South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 3 0
Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 2 1
White Hall (Arkansas) 1 2
Grand Mesa (Colorado) 0 3

Teams with one or no losses at the conclusion of pool competition will advance to the championship round(s). Between two and six teams could meet this criteria. All rounds following the completion of pool competition will use a single-elimination format.

Southwestern Region Tournament Semifinals (Tuesday, August 5)

Lamar American (Texas East) 1, Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 0
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 12, Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 3

Southwestern Region Tournament Championship Game (Thursday, August 7)

South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 8, Lamar American (Texas East) 7 (7 innings; TITLE)


Little League Baseball's Southwestern Region tournament has been contested only since 2002, but in that short lifespan, a handful of leagues have achieved enough regular success that they inevitably draw extra attention from their fellow competitors. Such is the case with South Lake Charles (Louisiana) and Lamar American (Richmond, Texas East) Little Leagues, which would certainly merit inclusion on any list of who's who among Southwestern Region charters.

The extra wattage focused on the two leagues is clearly warranted. In the eight years since Little League Baseball expanded the Little League World Series field to sixteen teams, 2008 marked the fifth occasion in which one of the two programs played in the region championship game. (Lamar American was chartered as a split from Lamar National Little League in 2005.)

Throw Lafayette (Louisiana) Little League into the mix -- they and South Lake Charles have met in the championship game of the last four Louisiana state tournaments, and neither team has lost a game to any of the state's other 40-plus leagues during that timespan -- and there have been only two instances since 2001 in which none of the Southwestern Region's three most successful programs reached the region championship game. In both of those years, one of the Louisiana elites reached the region semifinals before succumbing to elimination.

Despite the legacy of success, the Southwest had yet to see a year in which two of these highly successful programs met in the region championship game. So when Lamar American and South Lake Charles won their way to a 2008 title game encounter, the two teams' coaching staffs eyed their opponent with a healthy respect.

"They are aggressive, a very good team," said South Lake Charles manager Charlie Phillips on the eve of the championship game. "And they have a strong tradition like Lake Charles has over the years."

"There's no question South Lake Charles will be the best team we have played so far," said Lamar American manager Mike Bertness.

"Fundamentally, next to us, they're the most sound defensive team we have seen this year," added the Texas East manager. "It's just a good all-around baseball team."

When the two teams clashed in the 2008 Southwestern Region championship game at Marvin Norcross Stadium in Waco, Texas, the result was a good, all-around baseball game. But it was also so much more -- a gripping, pulsating to-and-fro battle that was ultimately carried into extra innings.

And when South Lake Charles rallied -- tying the game when down to their last out in the sixth, and scoring twice after falling behind again in the seventh -- the never-say-die Louisiana champions emerged with an 8-7, extra inning victory and climbed into the Little League World Series. South Lake Charles would eventually finish the summer as the United States runner-up.

Catcher Peyton McLemore scored the deciding run, drawing a walk and moving to third on a groundout and single before scoring on a game-ending wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"Peyton's a good smart baserunner," said Phillips. "He hesitated for a second, but when he took off, I knew."

The title game had enough twists and turns that it seemed only natural for the winning run to cross the plate following the game's final pitch. Lamar American opened an early 2-0 lead, fell behind, then pulled ahead again in the third when Kyle Owen and Duncan McNair drilled consecutive home runs to put the Texans on top 6-3. South Lake Charles quickly narrowed the deficit to one run in the bottom of the inning, but the game progressed to the bottom of the sixth with Lamar American still holding its narrow lead.

The drama continued in the sixth. Lamar American retired the inning's first two hitters, but shortstop Kennon Fontenot -- who hit .667 in the regional but had come up empty in a bases-loaded plate appearance earlier in the game -- lashed a 2-0 pitch well beyond the center field fence to stave off elimination and force extra innings.

Lamar climbed back into the lead on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh, but Nicholas Abshire tied the game with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the frame, and McLemore soon scampered home with the deciding run.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed we didn't win," said Mike Bertness. "But that's baseball... Give them credit, they never gave up after trailing for most of the game.

"I thought we had them, but what can you say about Fontenot?" added the Lamar American manager. "He's a great baseball player, and he showed it by coming back and hitting that home run after striking out earlier with the bases loaded."

South Lake Charles overcame three deficits in the title game, but the Louisiana champions had hardly been challenged to that point in the tournament. Each of their three pool games ended early due to the mercy rule, and while South Lake Charles hitters sported a robust .387 team batting average entering the championship game, the team's pitchers allowed just five hits over the course of four games and held opposing hitters to a microscopic .076 batting average.

As his team worked its way toward the championship game, Phillips quickly dismissed the gaudy statistics.

"No one on this team really cares about the score of these first three games," said the Louisiana manager after his team dismantled its pool opponents by a combined 37-0 margin. "It's a great story, but means absolutely nothing right now... We don't scoreboard watch -- we play every pitch the same. If someone walks in and sees a 10-0 score, I don't want them to be able to tell if we are winning or losing."

Invariably, South Lake Charles was winning. The Louisiana team had not trailed at the regional prior to the title clash, and the closest contest was a 12-3 semifinal round win over Ocean Springs (Mississippi) Little League that went from scoreless to a 12-run margin in the span of three innings.

"Through three innings, it was 0-0," said Mississippi manager Darrell Pickish. "It was three up and three down for both sides."

Twins Beau and Bryce Jordan then broke the scoreless tie with consecutive home runs in the fourth, before Bryce Jordan and Trey Quinn each launched three-run shots as part of a seven-run sixth.

"Our bats didn't wake up, and theirs did," said Pickish of the late-inning South Lake Charles onslaught.

"We were relaxed (and) didn't think about it," said Phillips of the scoreless early innings. "Kennon told the guys 'Hey, I got you, don't worry' and he kept us in the game until our hitting got going."

Fontenot struck out eleven and allowed just two hits while earning his second win of the tournament. The right-hander also chipped in offensively, delivering three hits and scoring twice.

Fontenot had earlier thrown a two-hitter against Grand Mesa Little League (Grand Junction, Colorado), while Quinn and Bryce Jordan combined on a one-hit shutout against White Hall (Arkansas) Little League.

"The main thing is we work hard," said Phillips of his team's effort. "We don't have to flip a switch when we get out there. We play like we practice every day."

The team's overwhelming early-round statistics nearly came for naught against a Lamar American team that had yet to lose in the international tournament. Lamar American won each of its pool games, then squeaked past Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) Little League in a 1-0 semifinal round thriller. Lamar managed just one hit in the game -- Nate Bertness' bloop single into right center field that scored special pinch runner Grant Page in the third inning -- and escaped a trio of bases-loaded threats to avoid elimination.

Lubbock Southwest left the bases loaded in the first and third innings, then stranded a pair of baserunners in the fourth. They loaded the bases again in the sixth, before Nate Bertness snared a line drive in center field and threw to shortstop Cameron Boudreau to double off a runner for a game-ending double play.

"We got (our hit) at the right time with the runner in scoring position," said Mike Bertness. "With one swing of the bat it could have gone either way, and this time it went our way.

"My hat's off to Southwest," added the Lamar American manager. "What a great game and what a quality pitcher (Travon Benton, who fanned nine in 4-2/3 innings). He had an exceptional game. We were fortunate to win that one."

Two days later, the breaks fell South Lake Charles' way in a win that lifted the league into rare company: the Louisiana champions became just the second U.S. league in the 62-year history of the international tournament to earn a fourth trip to the Little League World Series. Tampa's Belmont Heights Little League reached South Williamsport four times between 1973 and 1981.

South Lake Charles produced Williamsport-bound teams in 1992, 2001, and 2006. But throughout the tournament, Phillips focused on keeping his team laser-focused on the here and now.

"The team that went last time is fourteen (years old) now," said the South Lake Charles manager prior to the region championship game. "We've never been there before. This is a totally different group. (Williamsport) is always the goal when you play Little League, though. These kids are state champions already. Preparation has met opportunity, and I'm very proud of them."


  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 0 3 0 6 2 0 11 9 1
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 5 3
  Pool Play Game 2
Grand Mesa (Colorado) 0 0 0 0 0 2 3
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 1 0 6 3 10 9 0
  Pool Play Game 3
Eastdale (New Mexico) 0 5 2 0 1 0 8 9 3
Lamar American (Texas East) 0 8 1 3 0 x 12 12 1
  Pool Play Game 4
Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 3 5 0 0 1 0 9 13 5
White Hall (Arkansas) 2 0 3 1 0 0 6 1 1
  Pool Play Game 5
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 2 0 2 0 0 0 4 5 2
Eastdale (New Mexico) 0 6 0 2 3 x 11 7 0
  Pool Play Game 6
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 3 0 1 0 13 17 12 1
White Hall (Arkansas) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7
  Pool Play Game 7
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 3
Lamar American (Texas East) 0 0 2 5 1 x 8 10 0
  Pool Play Game 8
Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 5 3 0 6 14 15 1
Grand Mesa (Colorado) 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
  Pool Play Game 9
Grand Mesa (Colorado) 2 0 0 0 2 3 2
White Hall (Arkansas) 3 1 6 2 12 14 0
  Pool Play Game 10
Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 3 4 0 3 10 8 3
  Pool Play Game 11
Tulsa National (Oklahoma) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Lamar American (Texas East) 8 2 7 x 17 11 1
  Pool Play Game 12
Eastdale (New Mexico) 0 0 3 1 2 0 6 10 1
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 5 2 1 2 3 x 13 14 4
  Semifinal Round
Lubbock Southwest (Texas West) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Lamar American (Texas East) 0 0 1 0 0 x 1 1 0
  Semifinal Round
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 0 0 0 3 2 7 12 17 2
Ocean Springs (Mississippi) 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 2 2
  Championship Game
Lamar American (Texas East) 1 1 4 0 0 0 1 7 9 1
South Lake Charles (Louisiana) 0 3 2 0 0 1 2 8 7 2

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/13/2009