2002 Little League® Baseball Northwest Region Tournament
Unpage Home | Northwest Region Home

Northwest Region Tournament

Toward the past

Toward the present

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

Participating Teams City League
Alaska State Champions Juneau Gastineau Channel East LL
Hawaii State Champions Waipahu Waipio LL
Idaho State Champions Coeur d'Alene Coeur d'Alene LL
Montana State Champions Missoula Mount Sentinel LL
Oregon State Champions Salem Parrish LL
Washington State Champions Mill Creek Mill Creek LL

NOTE: The 2002 Northwest 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 Northwest Region Tournament participants.

Tournament Results:

Saturday, August 3:
Waipio (Hawaii) 9, Mount Sentinel (Montana) 3

Sunday, August 4:
Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) 1, Parrish (Salem, Oregon) 0 (NO-HITTER)
Mill Creek (Washington) 9, Gastineau Channel East (Alaska) 2

Monday, August 5:
Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) 3, Waipio (Hawaii) 2
Mill Creek (Washington) 12, Parrish (Salem, Oregon) 2 (4 innings)

Tuesday, August 6:
Mill Creek (Washington) 11, Mount Sentinel (Montana) 2
Waipio (Hawaii) 8, Gastineau Channel East (Alaska) 1 (NO-HITTER)

Wednesday, August 7:
Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) 13, Mount Sentinel (Montana) 2 (4 innings)
Parrish (Salem, Oregon) 4, Gastineau Channel East (Alaska) 0

Thursday, August 8:
Mount Sentinel (Montana) 9, Gastineau Channel East (Alaska) 0
Mill Creek (Washington) 7, Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) 2

Friday, August 9:
Parrish (Salem, Oregon) 4, Waipio (Hawaii) 1



Mill Creek (Washington) 4 0 8
Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) 3 1 11
Parrish (Salem, Oregon) 2 2 14
Waipio (Hawaii) 2 2 11
Mount Sentinel (Montana) 1 3 33
Gastineau Channel East (Alaska) 0 4 30

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 (Saturday, August 10):

Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) 6, Parrish (Salem, Oregon) 4
Waipio (Hawaii) 5, Mill Creek (Washington) 3

Championship Game (Monday, August 12):

Waipio (Hawaii) 5, Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) 2 (TITLE)


Jonathan Abe came to the plate with a hope shared by countless Little Leaguers over the years.

"I was just trying to make contact," said Abe, "and not strike out."

He put the ball in play, and in the process helped his Waipio (Waipahu, Hawaii) Little League team realize a different dream: a trip to the Little League World Series.

Abe legged out an infield single when his two-out, two-strike line drive back to the mound ricocheted toward the right side of the infield in the sixth inning of the Northwest Region championship game. The hit scored teammate Cory Yuh from third base and gave Waipio a 3-2 lead against Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) Little League.

Waipio went on to win the game 5-2, and advance to the Little League World Series.

"I never would have imagined this team could go through number one and number two," said Waipio manager Clyde Tanabe.

Waipio upset top-seeded Mill Creek (Washington) Little League 5-3 in the semifinal round before defeating the second-seeded Idaho team in the championship game.

Abe's hit capped a four-run sixth inning rally as Waipio overcame a 2-1 Coeur d'Alene lead. Tony Fernandez had opened the inning with a single, and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. After Abe's pinch hit single, Idaho manager Dennis Fenenbock elected to intentionally walk Kurt Tanabe, Hawaii's top hitter. The strategy backfired when Isaac Moises slammed a two-run double against the base of the left center field wall to drive in two insurance runs and give Hawaii its final margin of victory.

Abe's clutch hit was his first of the region tournament after four strikeouts in five previous plate appearances. Clyde Tanabe primarily used Abe as a pinch runner and a defensive specialist.

"I wasn't worried," said Clyde Tanabe about sending Abe to the plate with the game on the line. "He is a good kid and tries his best. I just told him to punch the ball and run.

"He is so fast, I knew all he had to do was hit the ball and he would make it," added Clyde Tanabe.

Abe's late inning heroics were made possible by the stellar pitching performance of Kurt Tanabe in Waipio's semifinal round win over Mill Creek. The Washington champions were widely considered to be the top team in the tournament after outscoring their four pool opponents 39-8.

But Yuh's two-run single in the top of the first gave Waipio an early lead, and Kurt Tanabe made it hold up. The right-hander struck out twelve batters and scattered six hits to earn his third victory of the tournament. With runners at second and third base and one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Kurt Tanabe struck out the final two batters to preserve the win.

"We were just hoping to stay with them," said Clyde Tanabe after the game.

"He's the best pitcher we've faced, that's why we didn't score," said Mill Creek manager Larry Karger of Kurt Tanabe. "He just sent it. It was power against power . . . and he won."

Prior to the championship game, Kurt Tanabe was the starting and winning pitcher in each of Waipio's region tournament victories.

"We lost to a really good team and a really good pitcher," added Karger. "It's disappointing, but when you lose to a good team, you can handle it."

Waipio, which split its four pool games, opened the region tournament with a 9-3 win over Mount Sentinel (Missoula, Montana) Little League. Kurt Tanabe struck out thirteen batters, and hit a three-run homer in the second inning to give his team a 6-0 lead. Travis Jones capped the Waipio scoring with a three-run blast of his own in the third inning.

Coeur d'Alene then handed the Hawaiians their first loss of the tournament. Kurt Tanabe and Sean Clark both had RBI doubles as Waipio built a 2-0 lead, but the Idaho team scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to claim a 3-2 win. Kyle Florey opened the deciding inning with a walk, and scored on Chris Combo's triple. Tucker Anderson's RBI single tied the game, and Michael Korczyk's two-out RBI single into the right center field gap scored Anderson with the go-ahead run. Twin Idaho pitchers Chris and Nick Combo combined on a five hitter, with Nick turning in 2-1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Kurt Tanabe returned to the mound in Waipio's next game, throwing a one-hitter and striking out eleven in an 8-1 win over Gastineau Channel East (Juneau, Alaska) Little League. Tanabe retired the last twelve batters he faced, and Sanoe Aina keyed the offense with a bases-loaded double in the first inning. Waipio added two in the third, and Yuh delivered a two-run single as part of a four-run fourth inning rally. Moises was 3-for-4 at the plate, and also drove in a pair of runs.

Waipio was idle the next day, but clinched a semifinal round berth when Mount Sentinal and Gastineau Channel suffered their third losses of the tournament. The Hawaii champions suffered a loss of their own -- Aina, the starting first baseman, departed to compete in a previously scheduled national track and field meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

After losing to Parrish (Salem, Oregon) Little League in their final pool game, Waipio defeated Mill Creek and Coeur d'Alene, and joined their teammate in Pennsylvania.

The journey was made possible as much by the last pinch hitter on the bench as by the ace starting pitcher. At the Little League World Series, a new hero stepped forward. Jones hit game-winning, walk-off home runs in pool victories over Jesse Burkett (Worcester, Massachusetts) Little League and Webb City (Missouri) Little League. Waipio finished 2-1 in pool competition, but was eliminated on a tiebreaker.

"This was a very special team," said Clyde Tanabe after the World Series.

"I'm pretty sure that it won't sink in until a year or two, or even 10 years from now," he said. "As they get older, they'll appreciate the impact they made in Hawaii."


  Championship Game 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Waipio 0 1 0 0 0 4 5 8 1
Coeur d'Alene 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 0

Toward the past

Toward the present

The Unpage brings you unprecedented tournament coverage.
Thank-you for visiting
Unpage Publications!
Contact the Unpage.
Copyright © 2004, Unpage Publications. All rights reserved.
Last revision: 03/02/2004