2008 Little League® Baseball West Region Tournament
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West Region Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

Toward the present

West Region Tournament
Host - Western Region Headquarters; San Bernardino, California
At Al Houghton Stadium

Participating Teams City League
Arizona State Champions Glendale Arrowhead LL
Hawaii State Champions Waipahu Waipio LL
Nevada State Champions Henderson Paseo Verde LL
Northern California Divisional Champions Pleasanton Pleasanton American LL
Southern California Divisional Champions Aliso Viejo Aliso Viejo National LL
Utah State Champions Cedar City Cedar American LL

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

Tournament Results:

Day 1 (Friday, August 1):
Cedar American (Utah) 4, Arrowhead (Arizona) 3
Waipio (Hawaii) 2, Pleasanton American (Northern California) 1
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 11, Aliso Viejo National (Southern California) 0 (4 innings)

Day 2 (Saturday, August 2):
Aliso Viejo National (Southern California) 8, Cedar American (Utah) 0

Day 3 (Sunday, August 3):
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 7, Pleasanton American (Northern California) 3
Waipio (Hawaii) 5, Arrowhead (Arizona) 1

Day 4 (Monday, August 4):
Waipio (Hawaii) 12, Cedar American (Utah) 2 (6 innings)
Pleasanton American (Northern California) 7, Aliso Viejo National (Southern California) 5

Day 5 (Tuesday, August 5):
Pleasanton American (Northern California) 8, Arrowhead (Arizona) 5
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 4, Waipio (Hawaii) 1

Day 6 (Wednesday, August 6):
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 10, Cedar American (Utah) 6 (7 innings)
Arrowhead (Arizona) 2, Aliso Viejo National (Southern California) 1




Paseo Verde (Nevada) 4 0 10
Waipio (Hawaii) 3 1 8
Pleasanton American (Northern California) 2 2 19
Arrowhead (Arizona) 1 3 18
Aliso Viejo National (Southern California) 1 3 20
Cedar American (Utah) 1 3 33

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.

West Region Tournament Semifinals (Friday, August 8)

Waipio (Hawaii) 8, Plesanton American (Northern California) 0
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 14, Arrowhead (Arizona) 8

West Region Tournament Championship Game (Sunday, August 10)

Waipio (Hawaii) 4, Paseo Verde (Nevada) 3 (TITLE)


As the Waipio (Waipahu, Hawaii) and Paseo Verde (Henderson, Nevada) Little League all-star teams prepared to face off in the West Region championship game at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, California, the two teams' managers expressed a healthy respect for their opponents.

"You don't see a kid like him every year," said Hawaii manager Timo Donahue, a manager of three consecutive region tournament qualifiers, when asked about golden-armed Nevada pitcher Michael Blasko, whom his team would face in the championship game. "But they're also a good hitting team."

"It will be a tough game," predicted Paseo Verde manager Jim Kelly. "Both teams will have their top pitchers going, and it may come down to one mistake defensively."

Defense did decide the game, but it wasn't a miscue. Instead, it was a rally-killing defensive gem -- coupled with a pair of opposite field home runs -- that carried Waipio into the Little League World Series.

Waipio carried a precarious 4-3 advantage into the bottom of the fourth inning, thanks to a pair of longballs from third baseman Pikai Winchester. But Paseo Verde dialed up the pressure by advancing runners to second and third with two outs. The next Nevada batter chopped a hard ground ball toward the hole in the right side that seemed destined to slip through to right field, but Hawaii second baseman Kainoa Fong ranged onto the outfield grass to stab the ball, spin, and fire a strike to first baseman Khade Paris to end the inning.

"That play saved two runs," said Donahue after the game.

It also saved the game, and encapsulated the forces that powered Waipio's success in San Bernardino. On paper, the team's anemic offense threatened to derail the Hawaiians throughout the tournament. But Waipio persevered thanks to a series-long penchant for game-changing plays.

Consider the numbers: Waipio was no-hit in their tournament opener, yet still managed to win the game. They also won two other contests, including the title game, in which they managed four hits or less. The Hawaiians struck out an average of ten times per game -- and no less than eight times in any one contest -- and hit a collective .197. That figure plummets to .154 if you exclude their high-water ten-hit effort in a victory over Utah.

But when Waipio took the field, the numbers became irrelevent.

"These kids," said Donahue after the tournament, "just find a way to win."

And Waipio continued to find ways to win: two weeks after defeating Paseo Verde, Waipio defeated Matamoros (Mexico) Little League, 12-3, at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to win the Little League World Series.

Winchester's home runs powered the Hawaiian offense in the championship game. The left-hander drove opposite-field shots on the first pitch he saw in both the first and fourth innings. The first blast scored Caleb Duhay, who had walked, and gave Waipio a 3-0 lead. The second reclaimed the lead after Paseo Verde tied the game on homers by James Anderson and Griffin Kelly.

Anderson and Kelly were the first hitters faced by Waipio reliever Tanner Tokunaga, who took over in the third inning when starter Khade Paris moved to first base due to arm concerns. But the right-hander stepped up, and kept Nevada scoreless for the remainder of the game.

"I thought we'd knock him out," said Kelly, the Nevada manager. "I told our kids to take a strike against him, but they kept swinging at curveballs in the dirt."

"Tanner did a great job of overcoming those early home runs," said Donahue. "He did a better job of locating his pitches after that."

"Losing like that is tough," said Kelly. "We were one run away from Williamsport."

Blasko, the tournament's premier pitcher, overpowered Waipio throughout the evening, allowing just two hits beyond the Winchester home runs, striking out 14, and walking two. The right-hander had struck out 15 batters in 5-1/3 innings in an earlier game against the Hawaiians.

"It helped to see him once," said Donahue, finding the silver lining in his team's earlier 4-0 loss to Paseo Verde. "He is a great pitcher, but I don't think we were intimidated like a lot of teams are by him."

Waipio's have-no-fear attitude stemmed in part from the team's makeup. The league returned seven players from a team that reached the West Region semifinals in 2007, and that core group was augmented by mainstays like Duhay -- his one-hitter against Pleasanton American (Northern California) Little League advanced Waipio to the championship game -- and Winchester, whose three home runs led the team in San Bernardino.

"This is by far a better team than we had here last year," explained Donahue during the tournament. "Last year, we lacked experience. This year, we're experienced and we're also a year older and stronger."

The experience and opportunistic nature helped Waipio overcome early-tournament struggles. Pleasanton American pitcher Jake Dronkers and two relievers combined to hold the Hawaii team hitless, but Waipio rallyied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth to salvage a 2-1 victory. Against Arrowhead Little League (Glendale, Arizona), the difference-maker was a hard shot by shortstop Christian "C-Boy" Donahue in the fourth inning. Batting with the bases loaded and two outs in a 1-1 game, Donahue's hit eluded the Arizona second baseman rolled to the outfield fence. Instead of an inning ending force out that kept the game tied, the hit resulted in four runs scoring, as Donahue raced around the bases before the Arizona defense could recover. Though they could easily have been 0-2, Waipio stood atop the standings with a 2-0 record, and soon clinched a semifinal round berth with a 12-2 victory over Cedar American Little League (Cedar City, Utah).

The Hawaii manager felt his team's tough pre-regional schedule helped to get the team ready for the close games they would face in San Bernardino.

"Our state tournament was the hardest I've seen in my three years here," noted Donahue. Waipio lost their opening round game at the state tournament, then won five in a row, including a pair of one-run wins over previously undefeated Kaimuki Little League in the championship series. "I think that really prepared us for this."

Waipio then fell to Nevada, as Blasko earned his second win of the tournament and added to a strikeout tally that would reach 37 in 14-1/3 innings by the close of the tournament.

"You can't take anything away from their pitcher," said Timo Donahue. "He pitched a great game."

After struggling against Blasko and Paseo Verde, Waipio was also pressed for offense early in its semifinal round win over Pleasanton American. The Hawaiians didn't register their first hit until Jedd Andrade's run-scoring double with two outs in the fourth inning, but a two-run homer from Tokunaga and a two-run double by Andrade the following inning helped to lift Waipio into the championship game.

"We're not hitting the ball the way we're capable," noted Timo Donahue. "But we're still getting breaks and winning, even without hitting the ball."

The breaks continued once the team reached South Williamsport. Waipio survived a 1 hour 25 minute rain delay in their opening day 3-1 victory over Shelton National (Connecticut) Little League, then rallied from deficits to win their next two pool games, and rallied again in a 9-4 U.S. semifinal round win over Mill Creek (Washington) Little League. Then came the unlikeliest comeback of all: a Lazarus-like escape from a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave Waipio a 7-5 victory over South Lake Charles (Louisiana) Little League in the U.S. championship game. After defeating Mexico the next day, Waipio stood alone atop the Little League world.

South Lake Charles manager Charlie Phillips pointed straight to the core element of the Hawaiian team's DNA after Waipio's last-ditch comeback stunned the Louisiana team.

"I liked them a lot. I like their attitude," said the Louisiana manager of the eventual Little League World Series champions. "I like their effort, and they just scrap and play hard. I'm proud for them; they deserved it. They earned it."


  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Arrowhead (Arizona) 0 2 0 1 0 0 3 4 1
Cedar American (Utah) 2 1 0 0 0 1 4 5 0
  Pool Play Game 2
Pleasanton American (NoCal) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
Waipio (Hawaii) 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 3
  Pool Play Game 3
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 0 7 4 0 11 11 0
Aliso Viejo National (SoCal) 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
  Pool Play Game 4
Aliso Viejo National (SoCal) 0 0 0 1 3 4 8 5 0
Cedar American (Utah) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4
  Pool Play Game 5
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 0 0 2 4 0 1 7 8 0
Pleasanton American (NoCal) 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 4 3
  Pool Play Game 6
Arrowhead (Arizona) 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 2
Waipio (Hawaii) 1 0 0 4 0 x 5 3 0
  Pool Play Game 7
Waipio (Hawaii) 2 2 0 0 5 3 12 10 0
Cedar American (Utah) 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 3 1
  Pool Play Game 8
Aliso Viejo National (SoCal) 2 0 2 1 0 0 5 7 2
Pleasanton American (NoCal) 3 0 0 0 4 x 7 7 2
  Pool Play Game 9
Arrowhead (Arizona) 0 3 0 1 0 1 5 5 3
Pleasanton American (NoCal) 0 6 1 0 1 x 8 9 2
  Pool Play Game 10
Waipio (Hawaii) 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 3
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 2 1 0 1 0 x 4 7 2
  Pool Play Game 11
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 0 0 2 3 0 0 5 10 12 0
Cedar American (Utah) 0 0 0 0 4 1 1 6 8 2
  Pool Play Game 12
Aliso Viejo National (SoCal) 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 9 2
Arrowhead (Arizona) 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 3 0
  Semifinal Round
Waipio (Hawaii) 0 0 0 1 4 3 8 6 1
Pleasanton American (NoCal) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
  Semifinal Round
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 2 3 0 5 2 2 14 11 2
Arrowhead (Arizona) 4 2 0 0 0 2 8 11 3
  Championship Game
Paseo Verde (Nevada) 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 5 1
Waipio (Hawaii) 3 0 0 1 0 x 4 4 0

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/13/2009