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

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

Participating Teams City League
Alaska State Champions Anchorage Dimond-West LL
Idaho State Champions Boise North Boise LL
Montana State Champions Billings Boulder-Arrowhead LL
Oregon State Champions Beaverton Murrayhill LL
Washington State Champions Mill Creek Mill Creek LL
Wyoming State Champions Laramie Laramie LL

NOTE: The 2008 Northwest 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 Northwest Region Tournament participants.

Tournament Results:

Day 1 (Friday, August 1):
Laramie (Wyoming) 5, North Boise (Idaho) 4

Day 2 (Saturday, August 2):
Murrayhill (Oregon) 25, Laramie (Wyoming) 14 (5 innings)
Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 10, North Boise (Idaho) 6
Mill Creek (Washington) 20, Dimond-West (Alaska) 1 (4 innings)

Day 3 (Sunday, August 3):
Mill Creek (Washington) 10, Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 4 (7 innings)
Murrayhill (Oregon) 11, Dimond-West (Alaska) 5

Day 4 (Monday, August 4):
Laramie (Wyoming) 13, Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 11
Murrayhill (Oregon) 6, North Boise (Idaho) 4

Day 5 (Tuesday, August 5):
Mill Creek (Washington) 7, North Boise (Idaho) 0
Laramie (Wyoming) 14, Dimond-West (Alaska) 1 (4 innings)

Day 6 (Wednesday, August 6):
Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 10, Dimond-West (Alaska) 1
Mill Creek (Washington) 18, Murrayhill (Oregon) 1 (4 innings)




Mill Creek (Washington) 4 0 6
Murrayhill (Oregon) 3 1 41
Laramie (Wyoming) 3 1 41
Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 2 2 30
North Boise (Idaho) 0 4 28
Dimond-West (Alaska) 0 4 55

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.

Northwest Region Tournament Semifinals (Thursday, August 7)

Murrayhill (Oregon) 6, Laramie (Wyoming) 0
Mill Creek (Washington) 15, Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 1 (5 innings)

Northwest Region Tournament Championship Game (Saturday, August 9)

Mill Creek (Washington) 10, Murrayhill (Oregon) 1 (TITLE)


Everything was aligning nicely for the Mill Creek (Washington) Little League all-star team as the 2008 international tournament progressed. Coming off a year in which the league's 11-year-old all-star team captured a state championship, Mill Creek showed no signs of a letdown as it dispatched four district tournament opponents by a 48-5 margin to open tournament play. Washington's tournament rotation schedule called for District 1 to host the state tournament, affording Mill Creek the luxury of competing on its home field throughout the state tournament. And after capturing the championship flag in that tournament, Mill Creek scored ten or more runs in four of its first five region tournament games to land squarely on the doorstep of the Little League World Series.

But Mill Creek manager Scott Mahlum knew all of his team's success to that point in the tournament, impressive as it was, guaranteed nothing as they stood just one win away from South Williamsport.

"Last year, Kent was the better team but just had one bad game," said Washington manager Scott Mahlum, referring to the previous year's Washington state champions, who overpowered their initial five region tournament opponents by a 76-7 margin but dropped a 6-2 decision to Lake Oswego (Oregon) Little League in the championship game.

"We didn't want that to happen to us," said Mahlum. "If we were going to lose, we wanted it to be to a better team, and I really thought we were the better team."

In the championship game, sluggers Derrick Mahlum and Alec Kisena helped assure that Mill Creek's season would continue beyond the region tournament.

Derrick Mahlum broke the game open with a three-run homer in the fourth inning, and Kisena capped the night with a grand slam in the sixth as Mill Creek downed Murrayhill Little League (Beaverton, Oregon), 10-1 before a crowd of 5,000+ spectators at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino.

The victory -- Mill Creek's fifteenth consecutive win since the start of tournament play -- lifted the three-time Washington state champions into the Little League World Series.

"I'm relieved and overjoyed," said Scott Mahlum after the championship game. "I said from Day One our goal was to go to the World Series. The kids believed the whole time, and they backed it up with action."

Mill Creek had easily defeated the Oregon champions, 18-1, earlier in the tournament, but both teams came into that meeting having already clinched passes to the semifinal round, and used the game as an opportunity to set their pitching rotation for the tournament's endgame.

"The 18-1 game was meaningless, except for seeding," said Scott Mahlum.

The two teams were more evenly matched in the early innings of the title game. Mill Creek scored single runs in the first and third innings, and Connor Shaw's second inning home run kept Murrayhill to within a run as the game crossed the halfway point.

Casey Davies and Dan Kingma reached on fielding miscues in the top of the fourth for Mill Creek, then Derrick Mahlum broke the game open by fighting off several two-strike pitches and then lining a full count fastball over the center field fence.

"That was a huge play," said Scott Mahlum of his son's blast. "Derrick waited for his pitch and when he threw a fastball, he hit it out of the park."

Mill Creek added a run on Alek Baumgartner's RBI single in the fifth, then Kisena iced the win with a grand slam beyond the right center field fence in the sixth.

Six-foot-plus Mill Creek pitcher Jason Todd stifled Murrayhill's offense after the early home run, allowing just five hits and striking out ten to earn his third win of the tournament.

"They're very good," said Murrayhill manager Scott Zamon after the game. "They've got good pitching and three or four big horses who can swing the bats. I expect them to go deep into the World Series."

Mill Creek hitters batted a collective .415 and drew 39 walks in its six region tournament wins, but Scott Mahlum pointed beyond the offensive firepower when assessing his team's strengths.

"The key was dynamite pitching and good defense," said the Mill Creek manager. "The offense just provided the margin."

Mill Creek's pitching dominated throughout the tournament. Five different hurlers combined to hold opposing hitters to a .172 batting average, and posted an eye-popping 50-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. After Derrick Mahlum issued a free pass to the first hitter he faced in the team's second pool game, a win over Boulder-Arrowhead Little League (Billings, Montana), Mill Creek pitchers did not walk another batter over the team's subsequent 28 defensive innings -- a span of 104 hitters.

Meanwhile, the Washington offense was prolific from wire-to-wire. Mill Creek opened the tournament with a six-run first inning in a pool game against Dimond-West Little League (Anchorage, Alaska), and closed it with the four-run sixth in the championship game. The innings in between were equally fruitful: the Washington champions scored multiple runs in half of their offensive innings, slammed 13 home runs, and outscored opponents by an 80-8 margin.

"Our guys were focused," said Scott Mahlum. "They played almost a perfect tournament."

Mill Creek's lone letdown came in its pool win over Boulder-Arrowhead. One day after the Washington champions routed Dimond-West in a mercy rule-shortened, 20-1 victory, the team trailed throughout before a sixth inning rally and seven-run seventh inning burst finally subdued the Montana champions.

"The way we warmed up in the infield and outfield, the way we hit before the game, I knew we were in for a dogfight," said Scott Mahlum.

Boulder-Arrowhead's Winston Cox slammed a two-run homer in the first, and ninth-place hitter Derek Reiter later homered as the Montana team carried a 3-1 lead into the sixth. Todd and Alex Jondal rescued Mill Creek with run-scoring hits, and after Boulder-Arrowhead forced extra innings, Mill Creek overwhelmed the Montana team with a seven-run avalanche in the first extra inning. Derrick Mahlum put Mill Creek in control with a three-run homer, and Kisena chipped in with a two-run single.

"(After) that game we really caught fire and we've done well, hitting for power and average," Scott Mahlum explained after the tournament. "The Montana game, that game opened our eyes and scared 'em. It showed them they can't just show up."

When the two teams met again in the semifinal round, 12 of Mill Creek's 13 players had base hits as the Washington team overpowered Boulder-Arrowhead, 15-1 in five innings.

"Last time we played them, we swung at too man pitches that were in the dirt," said Scott Mahlum. "We wanted to wait them out and get good swings at pitches that were strikes."

After grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first, Mill Creek's patience paid off: four walks and a pair of wild pitches helped to fuel a seven run rally in the second inning.

Duncan Bartok and Joakim Soderqvist added home runs as part of a six-run rally in the fifth -- Soderqvist's moonshot traveled an estimated 320 feet -- and Derrick Mahlum wrapped up his complete game four-hitter in the bottom of the inning to lift Mill Creek into a region championship game for the first time in the league's three trips to San Bernardino.

Murrayhill had reached the championship game as recent as two years prior, when the Oregon powerhouse eventually reached the U.S. championship game. The Oregonians had allowed more than ten runs per game in their four pool contests, which included both the 18-1 loss to Mill Creek and a 25-14 shootout with Laramie (Wyoming) Little League. Laramie had nine hits, hit three home runs, and drew eight walks against five different Murrayhill pitchers in the match, but a trio of six-plus run Murrayhill rallies eventually made the different in the game. When the teams met again in the semifinal, Shaw, the Murrayhill starter, tossed a two-hit complete game to lead the Oregon squad to a 6-0 victory.

"(Shaw) was in command from the first pitch, said Scott Zanon after the game. He was composed, just as he haas been all season."

"He threw a good game," agreed Laramie manager Ron Harding. "(He) had us off-balance for the whole game. We just couldn't get on him."

Reza Aleaziz homered twice for Murrayhill, including a solo shot in the second that opened the scoring, and a three-run blow in the third. Chandler Whitney also homered for the Oregon winners.

Two days later, it was Mill Creek that packaged the lethal combination of lights-out starting pitching and late inning long balls as they pulled away and sealed the tournament championship.

"They believed it and they followed through and they reached it," said Scott Mahlum as his team prepared for its first clash at the Little League World Series, where Mill Creek would reach the U.S. semifinals. "You have an exceptional group of athletes who have athletic ability, God-given talent. Hard work is the next thing. The third and most important thing is the confidence they have."

Mill Creek showcased this potent combination throughout the region tournament, and the results showed up in all phases of the team's performance -- pitching, hitting, and most importantly, on the scoreboard. By summer's end, the team with sky's-the-limit potential had climbed to elite heights.


  Pool Play Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Laramie (Wyoming) 0 1 0 1 0 3 5 5 3
North Boise (Idaho) 0 0 1 0 3 0 4 7 0
  Pool Play Game 2
Murrayhill (Oregon) 7 2 7 3 6 25 17 1
Laramie (Wyoming) 1 7 4 0 2 14 9 3
  Pool Play Game 3
North Boise (Idaho) 1 5 0 0 0 0 6 10 2
Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 3 5 0 0 2 x 10 11 2
  Pool Play Game 4
Mill Creek (Washington) 6 5 6 3 20 14 2
Dimond-West (Alaska) 0 0 1 0 1 3 2
  Pool Play Game 5
Mill Creek (Washington) 0 0 1 0 0 3 6 10 11 0
Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 4 4 0
  Pool Play Game 6
Dimond-West (Alaska) 1 2 2 0 0 0 5 6 3
Murrayhill (Oregon) 5 0 1 0 5 x 11 12 3
  Pool Play Game 7
Laramie (Wyoming) 0 1 2 1 3 6 13 13 3
Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 1 0 3 3 0 4 11 13 1
  Pool Play Game 8
North Boise (Idaho) 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 5 2
Murrayhill (Oregon) 2 0 2 0 2 x 6 7 2
  Pool Play Game 9
Mill Creek (Washington) 0 1 4 0 2 0 7 6 1
North Boise (Idaho) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
  Pool Play Game 10
Dimond-West (Alaska) 0 1 0 0 1 2 3
Laramie (Wyoming) 0 14 0 x 14 10 1
  Pool Play Game 11
Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 5 0 0 0 4 1 10 8 0
Dimond-West (Alaska) 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
  Pool Play Game 12
Mill Creek (Washington) 4 6 3 5 18 17 1
Murrayhill (Oregon) 0 0 0 1 1 2 3
  Semifinal Round
Laramie (Wyoming) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Murrayhill (Oregon) 0 1 4 0 1 x 6 9 0
  Semifinal Round
Mill Creek (Washington) 1 7 0 1 6 15 15 0
Boulder-Arrowhead (Montana) 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1
  Championship Game
Mill Creek (Washington) 1 0 1 3 1 4 10 8 2
Murrayhill (Oregon) 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 4

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/13/2009