2007 Little League® Baseball Midwest Region Tournament
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Midwest Region Tournament
Major Baseball Division



Toward the past
2007

Toward the present

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

Participating Teams City League
Iowa State Champions Urbandale Urbandale LL
Kansas State Champions Cherokee Cherokee Community LL
Minnesota State Champions Coon Rapids Coon Rapids National LL
Missouri State Champions Carthage Carthage LL
Nebraska State Champions Omaha Keystone LL
North/South Dakota State Champions Rapid City (South Dakota) Harney LL

NOTE: The 2007 Midwest Region Tournament used a pool play format. At the completion of pool competition, the top four teams advanced to single-elimination semifinal and championship round games.

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


Tournament Results:

Day 1 (Friday, August 3):
Urbandale (Iowa) 5, Keystone (Nebraska) 3
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 3, Cherokee Community (Kansas) 0

Day 2 (Saturday, August 4):
Harney (South Dakota) 13, Carthage (Missouri) 3 (4 innings)
Urbandale (Iowa) 17, Cherokee Community (Kansas) 0 (4 innings)

Day 3 (Sunday, August 5):
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 13, Harney (South Dakota) 2 (4 innings)
Keystone (Nebraska) 13, Carthage (Missouri) 12

Day 4 (Monday, August 6):
Urbandale (Iowa) 4, Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 1
Keystone (Nebraska) 8, Cherokee Community (Kansas) 3

Day 5 (Tuesday, August 7):
Carthage (Missouri) 6, Cherokee Community (Kansas) 0
Harney (South Dakota) 8, Urbandale (Iowa) 4

Day 6 (Wednesday, August 8):
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 8, Carthage (Missouri) 2
Harney (South Dakota) 10, Keystone (Nebraska) 0 (4 innings)


Standings

W

L

Runs
Allowed
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 3 1 8
Harney (South Dakota) 3 1 20
Urbandale (Iowa) 3 1 12
Keystone (Nebraska) 2 2 30
Carthage (Missouri) 1 3 34
Cherokee Community (Kansas) 0 4 34

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.

Midwest Region Tournament Semifinals (Thursday, August 9)

Harney (South Dakota) 16, Urbandale (Iowa) 15
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 7, Keystone (Nebraska) 3

Midwest Region Tournament Championship Game (Saturday, August 11)

Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 17, Harney (South Dakota) 8 (TITLE)


Summary:

As pool competition came to a close at the 2007 Midwest Region tournament, Carthage (Missouri) Little League all-star team manager Mark Bridges surveyed the teams remaining in the field, and speculated on the tournament's eventual outcome.

"Minnesota was a very tough team," said Bridges, referring to the team that had just handed the Missouri champions a season-ending defeat on the final day of pool play. "They'll most likely be in the championship game against South Dakota. That would be my guess.

"They're two big teams, (and they) have pitching depth," added the Missouri manager.

Bridges receives full marks for accurately identifying the two tournament finalists, especially considering how volatile the Midwest Region tournament became as it reached its endgame. First there was the semifinal round game in which the victors rallied to win after being down to their final strike. Then the other semifinal, where the winning team blew a 7-2 advantage, zoomed back from a 15-7 deficit to force extra innings, and finally won on a walk-off home run in the seventh inning. Then there was the heart-stopping to and fro from the championship game, where a different team held the lead after each of the game's first five innings.

But the scoreline that matters most is the one at the end of the final inning. That's when Minnesota's Coon Rapids National Little League stood tallest.

Coon Rapids National survived its one-strike-away brush with elimination in its semifinal round contest, then scored ten runs over the final two innings to overtake Harney Little League (Rapid City, South Dakota), 17-8, in the region championship game at Stokely Field in Indianapolis, Indiana. With the wins, Coon Rapids National earned a berth in the Little League World Series.

Coon Rapids' big finish eventually subdued Harney, but not before the championship game lead changed hands six times. Coon Rapids National jumped to an early 4-0 advantage, trailed 5-4 after two, reclaimed the lead and watched Rapid City tie the game in the third, and then moved in front before falling behind 8-7 after four.

Coon Rapids National finally pulled in front for good in the fifth. Anthony Mrosla opened the inning with a double, then Nathan LaBrant singled. Three consecutive walks turned the 8-7 deficit into a 9-8 lead, and Coon Rapids went on to add four more runs before Harney escaped the inning. In the sixth, Dom Reff deposited an 0-2 pitch over the left center field fence for a grand slam that sealed the win.

"We felt good about our chances after we survived that (semifinal) game," said Coon Rapids National manager Mark Lowe. "But it was still tense.

"In fact, it might have been more tense than the game we had just pulled out because this game was what it was," added the Minnesota manager, referring to the Williamsport-or-bust stakes of the final game.

Mrosla and Brett Golobich each collected three hits for Coon Rapids, while Reff scored three times to go with his four RBIs. The first five hitters in the Minnesota batting order combined for eight hits, twelve runs scored and eleven runs batted in.

"These boys can hit and did hit," said Lowe of his Minnesota team. "But we also knew going into this championship game that this Rapid City team could score runs, too."

"This is the best hitting team we've had -- by far. By far," agreed Harney manager Gary Wickham, comparing his squad to the four prior Harney state championship teams since the start of the decade.

"We're just a much deeper team than we have been in the past," added the South Dakota manager.

That depth showed in the stat line. Harney posted a robust .406 team batting average in Indianapolis, and nine of the team's twelve players cleared the Stokely Field fences.

Coon Rapids was able to finally derail Harney's offense in the latter stages of the championship game when reliever Tanner Lowe -- one of two returnees from the Minnesotans' region tournament semifinalist team in 2006 -- held the South Dakota team hitless over the final 2-2/3 innings to seal the win.

Coon Rapids' finishing kick proved the difference against South Dakota, but the title game heroics were made possible by the team's last-ditch rally over Omaha's Keystone Little League in the semifinal round. Keystone had pushed across the game's first run in the bottom of the fifth, and two of Coon Rapids' first three hitters were retired in the sixth. Noah Fedje then worked the count full, and kept the inning alive when he was hit by a pitch. The pitch not only gave Coon Rapids new life in the form of another baserunner, but it also forced a pitching change, as Keystone hurler McLaine Jonas reached his pitch count limit during the at-bat.

Tyler Kelm greeted the new pitcher with a bunt single to load the bases -- a move that surprised the defense because it came on a 3-0 count with two outs -- and Golobich took a pair of balls before Keystone again changed pitchers. The game's momentum then quickly shifted to Coon Rapids' favor. Adam Recksiedler raced home from third on a passed ball with the tying run, then Golobich walked to re-load the bases. Reff's two-run double pulled the Minnesotans into the lead, and after a walk, Tanner Lowe capped the furious comeback with a monster grand slam that landed some 75 feet beyond the outfield fence.

While the late blows gave Coon Rapids a comfortable lead, Mark Lowe knew how razor-thin his team's margin of escape had been.

"(Before Fedje was hit by a pitch) I was wondering what I would say to these boys, how they would handle losing after coming so far," said the Minnesota manager.

"We were just hanging by a shoestring," said Nebraska manager Doug Goetzinger. "But we were one strike away from playing on ESPN and one more win away from playing in Williamsport. Everyone's a little disappointed today, but I told (my team) I was real proud of them."

Wickham was equally proud of his Harney team, which battled back from an eight run fifth inning deficit in a 16-15 victory over Urbandale (Iowa) Little League in the other semifinal. Harney completed its comeback on Jake Lewis' walk-off home run with one out in the seventh inning.

"(Lewis) had been a little shaky this tournament, but what a time to come back," said Wickham after the game. "It was a phenominal time to do it."

Harney narrowed its late inning deficit with four runs in the fifth inning, then scored four more in the sixth to force extra innings. Hunter La Croix homered to lead off the sixth, then Lewis, Wade Myers, and Cole Holzer delivered run-scoring hits to extend the game.

"Manny's (La Croix's) home run was huge for us to get back into the game," said Wickham. "For this team, all it takes is one little spark like that. They know they're not out of it."

The next inning, Lewis capped the comeback that La Croix sparked when his home run just cleared the Stokely Field fence.

"It just made it over," said Urbandale manager Mike Lillard of Lewis' game-ending blow. "The fences were 205 (feet), and it probably made it about 208. It was close."

Coon Rapids' path to the semifinal round was much more straightforward than the games that followed. Reckseidler helped the Minnesota team to a strong start with a thirteen strikeout no-hitter in a 3-0 opening round win over Cherokee (Kansas) Community Little League on the tournament's opening day. Reckseidler, who scored and drove in a run as part of a 2-for-2 day at the plate, needed only 77 pitches in a complete game effort.

"That pitcher was pretty good," said Kansas manager Joe Ulery. "We just couldn't put the bat on the ball."

Coon Rapids National had no such issue the next day, when the team scored three-plus runs in each of their offensive innings in a 13-2 win over Harney. Reff, who came of the bench in Coon Rapids' opener, batted second in the Minnesota lineup, and drilled a pair of home runs while driving in six runs. Pitcher Cody Hermann matched Reff's 3-for-3 day at the plate, homering once and driving in four runs. He also scattered four hits over four innings and did not allow an earned run.

The Minnesota team then fell to Urbandale, 4-1, as three Iowa pitchers combined on a fifteen strikeout three-hitter, but secured a semifinal round berth with an 8-2 win over Carthage on the final day of pool competition. Lowe, the pitching hero in the championship game, struck out seven batters in four innings and kept Carthage off the scoreboard until Coon Rapids had built a 5-0 advantage. Reff launched two more home runs, while Hermann and Mrosla each scored twice.

Coon Rapids' presence in the semifinal round was not unexpected -- the Minnesota champion has failed to advance beyond pool play just once since the Midwest Region tournament was first played in 2001 -- but predictability went by the wayside once the semifinal round commenced. The team's ability to maintain course despite the considerable turbulence in the elimination rounds helped Coon Rapids to chart course for a new destination: the Little League World Series. Coon Rapids National won one of its three games in South Williamsport, and finished third in its four-team pool.


Linescores:

  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Urbandale (Iowa) 0 0 3 0 0 2 5 4 1
Keystone (Nebraska) 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 4 0
  Pool Play Game 2
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 5 1
Cherokee Community (Kansas) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
  Pool Play Game 3
Carthage (Missouri) 1 0 2 0 3 3 3
Harney (South Dakota) 0 1 8 4 13 9 2
  Pool Play Game 4
Urbandale (Iowa) 8 0 8 1 17 16 0
Cherokee Community (Kansas) 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
  Pool Play Game 5
Harney (South Dakota) 0 2 0 0 2 4 1
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 5 3 5 x 13 12 2
  Pool Play Game 6
Keystone (Nebraska) 0 0 5 4 3 1 13 13 4
Carthage (Missouri) 2 0 1 6 1 2 12 10 3
  Pool Play Game 7
Coon Rapids (Minnesota) 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 3
Urbandale (Iowa) 2 2 0 0 0 x 4 3 1
  Pool Play Game 8
Cherokee Community (Kansas) 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 8 7
Keystone (Nebraska) 0 0 6 0 2 x 8 11 1
  Pool Play Game 9
Cherokee Community (Kansas) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
Carthage (Missouri) 0 0 0 3 3 x 6 6 1
  Pool Play Game 10
Urbandale (Iowa) 0 1 0 0 3 0 4 8 1
Harney (South Dakota) 0 0 6 2 0 x 8 9 0
  Pool Play Game 11
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 2 0 3 0 1 2 8 13 2
Carthage (Missouri) 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 7 3
  Pool Play Game 12
Keystone (Nebraska) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Harney (South Dakota) 2 2 0 6 10 12 0
  Semifinal Round
Urbandale (Iowa) 2 0 0 8 5 0 0 15 14 5
Harney (South Dakota) 2 0 5 0 4 4 1 16 16 2
  Semifinal Round
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 0 0 0 0 0 7 7 7 3
Keystone (Nebraska) 0 0 0 0 1 3 3 2 2
  Championship Game
Coon Rapids National (Minnesota) 4 0 2 1 6 4 17 12 1
Harney (South Dakota) 3 2 1 2 0 0 8 6 2




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