2000 Illinois State Little League® Tournament Results

Illinois State Tournament

Toward the past

Toward the present

Illinois State Tournament
Host - Melrose Park (District 10)

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions
Section 2 Champions
Section 3 Champions
Section 4 Champions
Section 5 Champions

Lawrenceville (District 1)
Chicago Westlawn (District 15)
Chicago East Side (District 7)
River Forest (District 10)
Bradley-Bourbonnais American (District 18)

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
River Forest 6, Chicago Westlawn 5

Winner's Bracket Semifinals:
Bradley-Bourbonnais American 11, Chicago East Side 1
Lawrenceville 2, River Forest 0

Loser's Bracket Quarterfinals:
Chicago Westlawn 10, Chicago East Side 4 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Bradley-Bourbonnais American 11, Lawrenceville 3

Loser's Bracket Semifinals:
Chicago Westlawn 6, River Forest 5 (elim.)

Loser's Bracket Finals:
Chicago Westlawn 5, Lawrenceville 3 (elim.)

Championship Series:
Chicago Westlawn 12, Bradley-Bourbonnais American 7
Chicago Westlawn 10, Bradley-Bourbonnais American 3 (TITLE)


Whack whack whack whack whack.

When the first five River Forest batters all hit the ball hard against Chicago Westlawn in the opening game of the Illinois state tournament, it looked like business as usual for the Foresters. River Forest opened a 3-0 lead before Westlawn escaped the first inning, and after rallying in the sixth for a 6-5 win, River Forest seemed on their way to recapturing the state championship the same group of players had won in the 9-10 year old division in 1998.

Five days later, it was the Chicagoans putting on the hitting clinic. Westlawn reeled off five consecutive victories over the next five days, and emerged from the loser's bracket to claim their second consecutive state title. The Midway Airport-area team -- who returned no players from the 1999 state championship team -- eliminated every other team competing in the tournament, and avenged their opening round loss to River Forest with a nail-biting 6-5 victory before capping their comeback with decisive 12-7 and 10-3 wins against Bradley-Bourbonnais American in the championship round. The state title was Westlawn's fourth Illinois crown, and moved Westlawn into a tie with the Kankakee Jaycees LL for the most Illinois titles in the major boys division since the state tournament was first held in 1957.

Westlawn's comeback from their opening round loss began almost immediately. In their next outing against Chicago East Side, the District 15 kingpins struck for eight runs and eight hits in the first two innings of a 10-4 win. Catcher Mark Evans kick-started the offense with a two-run double in the first and a three-run homer in the second, and Alex Robles added a homer.

Unexpectedly, Westlawn's win gave them an immediate rematch against River Forest, which was surprised by downstate representative Lawrenceville in their second game. Lawrenceville ace pitcher Cody Williams overcame the effects of eight walks by limiting River Forest to one hit in his team's 2-0 win. Williams struck out 11 while moving his team to the winner's bracket finals, while River Forest fell into a do-or-die rematch with Westlawn.

The Westlawn-River Forest rematch looked much like the game that opened the tournament: River Forest opened an early 3-0 lead, Westlawn surged to a 6-3 lead, and River Forest rallied late. This time, however, Westlawn held on for a narrow 6-5 win.

River Forest struck first on a pair of hits by Matt Kowalczyk. Kowalczyk, who scored the winning run in the clubs' first meeting, cracked a solo home run in the first and added a two-run single in the bottom of the second to stake the District 10 champions to a 3-0 lead. Westlawn sliced the deficit on Joe Dispensa's two-run homer in the third, and climbed into a 6-3 lead with a fourth-inning rally that was fueled by four hits, three walks, and a hit batter.

The key to the game -- and a preview of what was to come in the title round -- was Westlawn's ability to wiggle out of trouble in the late innings. Pitcher Chris Chojnowski issued four walks and hit a batter over the course of the fourth and fifth innings after Westlawn took the lead, but River Forest was unable to capitalize on the opportunities.

In the sixth, River Forest finally broke through. Kowalczyk and Gil Claudio sandwiched walks around a long fly out, and Kyle Knox singled to drive home Kowalczyk. Knox was thrown out attempting to reach second base, and though Claudio scored to narrow the deficit to 6-5, River Forest was one out away from elimination. Jimmy Lynch kept the Forester hopes alive with a double before Chojnowski recorded the third out to give Westlawn the victory.

While Westlawn was battling with River Forest, Bradley-Bourbonnais American was cruising into the title game. Dexter Peak, who struck out twelve and threw a three-hitter against East Side in the opening round, did the damage with his bat against Lawrenceville. Peak launched a pair of three-run homers, including a back-breaking shot in the fourth that negated a three-run Lawrenceville uprising in the third, as B-B American rolled to a 11-3 victory. Kyle Bullock matched Peak's twelve strikeout performance and did not issue a walk or allow an earned run as the District 18 power moved into the title round.

Westlawn would soon join them, as the Chicagoans got the best of Lawrenceville the next night to move into the title round. Westlawn used a three-run homer in the first and single runs in the second and third to post a 5-3 win over the downstate representative.

The title round matchups between Westlawn and Bradley-Bourbonnais American showcased the potent Westlawn offense. In the opener, the Chicagoans jumped to an early lead, and, consistent with their M.O., survived a series of B-B threats in the late innings before securing a 12-7 win. The next night, Westlawn clinched the title with a 10-3 win.

Westlawn started its assault early in the first meeting. Robles belted a three-run homer in the first, and added an RBI double in the second, as Westlawn raced to a 6-0 lead.

Despite the deficit, Bradley-Bourbonnais began to work their way back into the game. Bryan Beckner and Skyler Peak delivered RBI hits, and a pair of Westlawn errors allowed both players to score as B-B cut the deficit to 6-4 after three innings. Bradley then loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, and, on consecutive full-count pitches, a Geoff Page walk, a called third strike, and a Skyler Peak walk knotted the score at 6-6. Relief pitcher Ryan Christophersen escaped further trouble, and B-B left the bases loaded without taking the lead.

Westlawn's answer to the rally: Robles. The tall first baseman -- who would finish the day 4-for-4 with six RBIs -- drove a two-out RBI double to center that brought in Dispensa and gave Westlawn a 7-6 lead. Bradley-Bourbonnais put a pair of baserunners on in the fifth, but Dexter Peak's warning-track flyball ended the inning before B-B could re-tie the game.

B-B was still within striking distance as the first two Westlawn batters were retired in the bottom of the fifth, but Christophersen, Richie Gabel, and Dispensa singled to load the bases. The inning quickly turned into a nightmare for the Kankakee County team: Matt Ozrzesik reached on an error that scored Christophersen and Gabel, and Andy Zurales then reached on a second error that scored Dispensa and Ozrzesik. Robles capped the five-run rally with his third RBI double of the game. Bradley rallied again in the sixth, but Mark Evans came in to record the last three outs and clinch the win for Westlawn.

The win clearly put Westlawn in the drivers seat for the tournament: Westlawn had pounded Bradley-Bourbonnais' top pitcher for fourteen hits in the victory. Robles' hitting led the way, and eight different Westlawn players contributed base hits in the game.

It was a pattern that would continue the next night. In the tournament's 'if' game, eight Westlawn players again contributed hits, seven scored runs, and six had RBIs as Westlawn completed its comeback from the opening game loss with a 10-3 win over B-B American. Westlawn had 21 baserunners over the game's first five innings, and scored in every inning but the sixth.

Evans and Pat Dowd got the Westlawn offense going early. A pair of walks and a single loaded the bases with one out before Evans' RBI single to right field scored Dispensa with the game's first run. Dowd then slapped a double to right that plated Zurales and Robles, and Westlawn had an early 3-0 advantage. Equally important was Westlawn's defensive stand in the bottom of the first inning. B-B American put runners on second and third with one out, but Beckner's infield grounder became a rally-killing 1-3-6-2 double play.

From there, Westlawn pulled away. Ozrzesik and Zurales contributed RBI hits in the second, and a run-producing single by Christophersen in the third stretched the lead to 6-1. The Chicagoans then put the game away in the fourth, as a trio of Bradley-Bourbonnais errors contributed to a three-run rally. While the offense piled on the runs, Zurales and Dispensa split the pitching duties. Though they allowed a combined ten hits and three walks, they managed to strand nine Bradley-Bourbonnais baserunners. Over the course of the two meetings with Bradley-Bourbonnais, Westlawn averaged over three baserunners per inning, and had a .400 (24-for-60) team batting average, and a .551 on-base percentage.

For Bradley-Bourbonnais, the loss marked the final game in coach Lonnie Arthur's stellar 26 year coaching affiliation with one of the state's more successful LL programs. Arthur's son Wade, a sparkplug on the B-B team throughout their playoff run, switched from shortstop to the mound in the sixth and retired the only batter he faced on one pitch, as B-B's players kept their spirits high despite the two-day Westlawn onslaught.

Like its predessor, the 2000 Westlawn LL all-star team rolled into the title game of the Central Region tournament in Indianapolis. Despite homers from Robles, Evans, and Chojnowski, Westlawn was unable to overcome an early 5-0 deficit, and fell to Davenport East (Iowa) 6-4 in the region championship game.

Follow Westlawn at the Central Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Opening Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Chicago Westlawn 0 0 0 5 0 0 5 - -
River Forest 3 0 0 0 0 3 6 - -
  Winner's Bracket Semifinals
Bradley-Bour. American 1 0 2 0 2 6 11 11 -
Chicago East Side 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 -
  Winner's Bracket Semifinals
Lawrenceville 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 - -
River Forest 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -
  Loser's Bracket Quarterfinals
Chicago Westlawn 3 5 1 0 0 1 10 12 0
Chicago East Side 0 0 1 1 0 2 4 3 2
  Winner's Bracket Finals
Bradley-Bour. American 3 3 0 3 0 2 11 9 4
Lawrenceville 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 3 3
  Loser's Bracket Semifinals
Chicago Westlawn 0 0 2 4 0 0 6 7 0
River Forest 1 2 0 0 0 2 5 5 1
  Loser's Bracket Finals
Chicago Westlawn 3 1 1 0 0 0 5 5 -
Lawrenceville 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 - -
  Championship Series
Bradley-Bour. American 0 0 4 2 0 1 7 7 2
Chicago Westlawn 4 2 0 1 5 x 12 14 2
  Championship Series
Chicago Westlawn 3 2 1 3 1 0 10 10 1
Bradley-Bour. American 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 10 4

2000 Illinois District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results:

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Lawrenceville
D2 - Paris
D3 - Taylorville Red Bland
D17 - Brown County (Mount Sterling)

Section 1 Tournament
Host - Taylorville Red Bland (District 3)
At Manners Park

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Lawrenceville 2, Taylorville Red Bland 1 (7 innings)
2 - Brown County 11, Paris 2
3 - Paris 7, Taylorville Red Bland 6 (elim.)
4 - Lawrenceville 4, Brown County 3
5 - Brown County 5, Paris 3 (elim.)
6 - Lawrenceville 11, Brown County 0 (TITLE)

D9 - Riverside
D11 - Naperville United
D15 - Chicago Westlawn

Section 2 Tournament
Host - Brookfield National (District 9)
At Kiwanis Park

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Chicago Westlawn 9, Naperville United 6 (7 innings)
2 - Chicago Westlawn 4, Riverside 1
3 - Naperville United 4, Riverside 1 (elim.)
4 - Naperville United 8, Chicago Westlawn 6
5 - Chicago Westlawn 7, Naperville United 1 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D4 - Chicago South Side
D6 - Lynwood
D7 - Chicago East Side
D8 - Alsip

Section 3 Tournament
Host - Alsip (District 8)
At Ron Frenzel Field

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - East Side 4, South Side 2
2 - Lynwood 11, Alsip 2
3 - Alsip 2, South Side 1 (elim.)
4 - East Side 14, Lynwood 0
5 - Lynwood 13, Alsip 10 (elim.)
6 - East Side 13, Lynwood 9 (TITLE)

D10 - River Forest
D13 - Crystal Lake Continental
D16 - Antioch

Section 4 Tournament
Host - Des Plaines (District 10)

Tournament Schedule/Results
1 - Crystal Lake Continental 5, Antioch 0
2 - River Forest 7, Crystal Lake Continental 3
3 - Crystal Lake Continental 13, Antioch 3 (5 innings; elim.)
4 - Crystal Lake Continental 10, River Forest 7
5 - River Forest 7, Crystal Lake Continental 5 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 5
D5 - Rock Island Islander
D18 - Bradley-Bourbonnais American
D19 - Rochelle
D20 - Streator

Section 5 Tournament
Host - Watseka (District 18)
At Peters Park

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Bradley-Bourbonnais American 5, Streator 1
2 - Rochelle d. Rock Island Islander
3 - Rock Island Islander 3, Streator 2 (elim.)
4 - Bradley-Bourbonnais American 10, Rochelle 0 (4 innings)
5 - Rochelle 10, Rock Island Islander 2 (elim.)
6 - Bradley-Bourbonnais American 3, Rochelle 1 (TITLE)

Toward the past

Toward the present
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Last revision: 11/21/2004