2002 Little League® Baseball Midwest Region Tournament
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Midwest Region Tournament

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Midwest Region Tournament
Host - Central Region Headquarters; Indianapolis, Indiana
At Stokely Field; Reuben F. Glick Little League Baseball Center

Participating Teams City League
Iowa State Champions Des Moines Grandview LL
Kansas State Champions Riverton Riverton Area LL
Minnesota State Champions Coon Rapids Coon Rapids National LL
Missouri State Champions Webb City Webb City LL
Nebraska State Champions Central City Central City LL
North/South Dakota State Champions Rapid City (SD) Harney LL

NOTE: The 2002 Midwest Region Tournament used a two-phase tournament format. Each participating team played four games in a round-robin schedule, and the top four teams then advanced to single-elimination semifinal and championship round games.

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

Tournament Results:

Saturday, August 3:
Grandview (Iowa) 5, Central City (Nebraska) 4
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 5, Riverton Area (Kansas) 0

Sunday, August 4:
Webb City (Missouri) 5, Rapid City Harney (South Dakota) 3
Grandview (Iowa) 6, Riverton Area (Kansas) 5

Monday, August 5:
Rapid City Harney (South Dakota) 3, Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 0
Webb City (Missouri) 10, Central City (Nebraska) 2

Tuesday, August 6:
Grandview (Iowa) 11, Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 0 (NO-HITTER)
Central City (Nebraska) 16, Riverton Area (Kansas) 4

Wednesday, August 7:
Webb City (Missouri) 8, Riverton Area (Kansas) 0
Grandview (Iowa) 4, Rapid City Harney (South Dakota) 2

Thursday, August 8:
Webb City (Missouri) 14, Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 1 (4 innings)
Central City (Nebraska) 5, Rapid City Harney (South Dakota) 3



Webb City (Missouri) 4 0 6
Grandview (Iowa) 4 0 11
Central City (Nebraska) 2 2 22
Rapid City Harney (South Dakota) 1 3 14
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 1 3 28
Riverton Area (Kansas) 0 4 34

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:

Grandview (Iowa) 5, Central City (Nebraska) 3
Webb City (Missouri) 16, Rapid City Harney (South Dakota) 3 (4 innings)

Midwest Region Championship Game:

Webb City (Missouri) 2, Grandview (Iowa) 1 (TITLE)


Football is king in the community of Webb City, Missouri. Signs and banners adorn the storefronts of local businesses supporting the Webb City High School team, and many ardent fans begin lining up for home games up to four hours before kickoff.

The Cardinals usually win, too -- Webb City carried a twenty-nine game winning streak into the 2002 season, and their two consecutive Class 4A state championships gave the school six titles over a thirteen year span.

Despite the football team's ongoing winning streak, when the 2002 gridiron season rolled around, the Southwest Missouri community's attention was focused elsewhere: on the Webb City Little League all-star team.

Webb City's Little Leaguers piqued local interest with an eight game winning streak that culminated in the Missouri state championship. Six games later, the team had the city's full attention. The streak was at fourteen games, and Webb City's 2-1 victory over Grandview Little League (Des Moines, Iowa) in the championship game of the Midwest Region tournament vaulted the club into the Little League World Series.

Webb City was the first Missouri league to reach the Little League World Series in the 56 year history of the tournament.

Webb City outscored its first five opponents in the region tournament by a 53-9 margin, but needed a late rally in the championship game to edge the Des Moines team. Pitchers Darren Aggus and Josh Gardner both carried one-hitters into the fifth inning, but the Iowa team managed a run against Aggus in the fifth when Sean Logan's two-out, two-strike bloop single to right field scored Jake Hastings from second base.

Aggus then registered an inning-ending strikeout to strand Grandview baserunners at second and third -- Iowa would leave five runners in scoring position in the game -- and Webb City tied the score in the bottom of the inning. Brett Richardson lined a single off the right center field fence, moved to second on Preston Walker's bloop single, and scored when the Iowa shortstop bobbled Dakotah Miller's grounder and then threw wildly past second base.

Webb City needed just two batters to complete their comeback in the bottom of the sixth. Aggus legged out a grounder to deep short against an Iowa reliever to open the inning, and then scored from first when Caleb Powell slapped an 0-2 pitch into the right-center field gap for a game-ending double.

Webb City's offensive output in the title game was well below their earlier performance in the tournament. The Missouri champions reached double-digits in three of their earlier victories, batted over .400 as a team, and belted ten home runs in their first five games. Webb City's pitching and defense were also stellar: five different pitchers turned in complete game outings, and the Missourians committed only three errors prior to the championship game.

Webb City rode the fourteen strikeout performance of pitcher Alan Pink to a 5-3 win over Harney Little League (Rapid City, South Dakota) in their opener, and then homered three times in a 10-3 romp over Central City (Nebraska). Miller and Aggus both connected in the third inning against Central City, when Webb City opened up the game with a four-run rally. Aggus threw a complete game, striking out thirteen and allowing only two hits, while ten different Missouri players contributed a base hit, RBI, or run scored in the effort.

Webb City then blanked cross-border rival Riverton Area (Kansas) to clinch a spot in the semifinal round. Powell turned in the team's third straight complete game, and held the Kansas team to two hits. He also homered during a three-run first inning rally. Chance Sossamon contributed a pair of doubles, and Jerick Swarens added a triple.

The Missourians then dispatched Coon Rapids American (Minnesota) 14-1 in their final pool game. Sossamon hurled a complete game, and Webb City broke open a 2-1 game with twelve runs over a two inning span. Pink drilled a grand slam during a six run third inning rally, and Landon Zerkel's solo homer to lead off the fourth triggered another six run outburst.

The semifinal round rematch with Harney brought more of the same. Webb City scored at least two runs in each of the 16-3 victory's four innings. Ten different Webb City players scored a run, eight had hits, and Zerkel, a left-hander, delivered another complete game. Sossamon gave Missouri a 2-0 lead with a first inning homer, but Harney tied the game on back-to-back round-trippers by Nick Martin and Jeff Lesmeister in the bottom of the inning. After Sossamon hit another two-run homer in the top of the second, Richardson launched a grand slam in the third to open up an 8-3 lead. Aggus later added another homer, and Webb City outhit the South Dakota team 14-3 to move into the championship game.

Webb City had difficulty reprising their prolific offense at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Missouri team lost a trio of one-run games, including a 1-0 decision to Fort Worth Westside (Texas West) in their opener, and 2-1 losses to Jesse Burkett (Worcester, Massachusetts) and Waipio (Waipahu, Hawaii) to finish the tournament with an 0-3 record.

When the Midwest champions returned home, Webb City residents gave the team a football-like reception. Several hundred of the city's 9,000 residents cheered the team's arrival in a post-midnight rally on Main Street, and fireworks boomed at 1:15 a.m. as police and fire department escorts led the team's bus through downtown before the players emerged into the cheering crowd.

For one summer, at least, baseball was king in Webb City.


  Championship Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Grandview 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 1
Webb City 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 5 3

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Last revision: 06/12/2006