2002 Pennsylvania State Little League® Tournament Results

Pennsylvania State Tournament

Toward the past

Toward the present

Pennsylvania State Tournament
Host - Freeland (District 18)
At Gus Speal Memorial Park

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

Bullskin Township (Connellsville) (District 9)
Grove City (District 2)
Montoursville (District 12)
Lehigh (Bethlehem) (District 20)
Berwyn-Paoli (District 27)

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Grove City 8, Bullskin Township 4

Winner's Bracket Semifinals:
Berwyn-Paoli 5, Lehigh 0
Montoursville 5, Grove City 0

Loser's Bracket Quarterfinals (five teams remain):
Lehigh 11, Bullskin Township 1 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Montoursville 6, Berwyn-Paoli 4

Loser's Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
Lehigh 10, Grove City 0 (5 innings; elim.)

Loser's Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
Lehigh 11, Berwyn-Paoli 7 (8 innings; elim.)

Championship Series:
Lehigh 12, Montoursville 7
Lehigh 8, Montoursville 7 (TITLE)


Montoursville Little League had a 7-1 lead, two innings to play, and their top pitcher on the mound in the 'if' game of the Pennsylvania state tournament.

But the Lehigh Little League all-star team had a different ending in mind.

Lehigh erupted for seven runs in the top of the fifth inning to erase Montoursville's advantage, and then used inning-ending double plays to escape threats in the fifth and sixth innings and claim an improbable 8-7 victory.

The win gave Lehigh its first ever Pennsylvania state championship.

"Some of the local people here from Freeland have given (us) the nickname 'the Cardiac Kids'," said Lehigh manager Sam Murray after the game. "And it's deserving. (My team) always plays right down to the wire and will do whatever it takes to win."

Lehigh needed a Herculean effort to overcome poor starts against Montoursville and at the state tournament in general. The Bethlehem-based league dropped a 5-0 opening round decision to Berwyn-Paoli at the state tournament, and needed four victories in four days just to force the tournament to an 'if' game. Lehigh eliminated every other team in the tournament during this stretch, including Berwyn-Paoli, who had Lehigh one out away from elimination in their rematch before the Bethlehem squad forced extra innings and then won on Rocky Sawyer's walk-off grand slam.

Lehigh's biggest comeback came in the tournament's final game. Jim Brague drove in four runs with a pair of homers and an RBI single, and Vincent Molesky added a solo home run as Montoursville built a six-run cushion through four innings. But Lehigh sent twelve batters to the plate in the top of the fifth, chasing two Montoursville pitchers in the process, and raced into the lead.

Justin Rivera started the rally by legging out an infield single, and Sawyer followed with his fifth home run of the tournament to slice the deficit to 7-3. Kevin Kowalishen doubled, moved to third on a ground out, and scored as Ben Eichman reached on an infield grounder. Eichman moved to third on a pair of wild pitches, and scored when Joey Orlando delivered a single up the middle. The base hit sliced the Montoursville lead to 7-5, and brought Montoursville manager Ed Jacobson to the mound for a pitching change.

Montoursville recorded the inning's second out on a fielder's choice, but a hit batter and walk loaded the bases. Rivera walked to force in David Zubia, and Sawyer greeted a new relief pitcher with a single to left field that scored Luke Foley with the tying run. Kowalishen came to the plate and quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count before tapping a dribbler Toward shortstop. He beat out an infield single, and John Lule raced home with the lead run.

"It took our guys a few innings to figure him out," said Murray, referring to the sidearm delivery of Montoursville's starting pitcher.

"We were hoping to at least cut the deficit in half during the fifth. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it was going to turn out like that."

The rally was enough, but only barely. Curtis Jacobson opened the bottom half of the inning with a single, but Orlando, who had come on in relief in the second inning, recorded a strikeout and induced an around-the-horn double play to end the threat. In the sixth, Montoursville opened the inning with a walk and hit batter before Murray brought Kowalishen in to pitch. After a strikeout, Brague -- 3-for-3 on the day and 11-for-13 in the tournament at this point -- lined an 0-1 pitch Toward the right side of the infield. Foley, the first baseman, snared the drive and stepped on first base to suddenly end the game with an unassisted double play.

"Montoursville is a great team," said Lehigh coach Dominic DeSarro. "They battled us right down to the end.

"We came in with a guy (Kowalishen) who had a lot of heat to change it up from the curveballs they were seeing. It was just a beautiful performance from everyone."

Berwyn-Paoli pitcher Max Kenan turned in a beautiful performance in the opening round matchup that sent Lehigh into the loser's bracket. Kenan threw a walk-free five-hitter and struck out eight batters to lead his team to a 5-0 victory. After surrendering three singles in the bottom of the first inning, Kenan escaped the jam without allowing a run, and proceeded to retire sixteen of the final eighteen batters he faced.

Lehigh's offense remained dormant as the club began their long climb out of the loser's bracket. Lehigh led Bullskin Township only 2-1 through four innings, but added nine runs in the final two frames of an 11-1 victory. Eichman kept Bullskin in check throughout the game, finishing with twelve strikeouts and throwing a six-hitter. He also broke the game open with a three-run homer in the top of the fifth, and added a solo home run in the sixth. Sawyer drove in four runs with an RBI double and a three-run homer in the sixth. The next day, Sawyer took to the mound, and threw a three-hitter as Lehigh routed Grove City 10-0.

While Lehigh was beginning their comeback, Montoursville took control in the winner's bracket. Mark Schoch threw a two-hitter in a 5-0 win over Grove City, and Montoursville then staved off a late rally to beat Berwyn-Paoli 6-4 in the winner's bracket final. Montoursville stranded seven baserunners over the first four innings against Berwyn-Paoli, and the game remained scoreless entering the fifth inning. Brague doubled and scored on Matt Miller's RBI single in the fifth, and later drilled a three-run homer in the sixth to give Montoursville a 6-0 lead. Chris Cowell's three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth brought Berwyn-Paoli within striking distance, but Brague induced a groundout to secure the victory and send Montoursville to the state championship game for the first time since 1987.

Berwyn-Paoli's loss set up a rematch of their opening round win over Lehigh, and this time the two teams battled for eight innings over two days before Lehigh emerged with the win. Greg Walsh's pinch hit double in the third helped Berwyn-Paoli build a 4-2 lead, but Sawyer rallied Lehigh with solo home runs in the third and again in the fifth. Berywn-Paoli briefly took the lead in the top of the sixth, but Rivera's RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the inning forced extra innings and staved off elimination for Lehigh.

The two teams remained tied through seven innings before the game was suspended and resumed the next day prior to the first championship series meeting. Sawyer subdued Berwyn-Paoli with a game-ending grand slam in the bottom of the eighth, and then returned just hours later to throw four solid innings and help Lehigh force a second championship game with a 12-7 win over Montoursville. Sawyer benefited from a fourteen hit Lehigh attack, which was a far cry from the team's earlier hitting struggles.

"It may have helped us that we were able to come right back after finishing that suspended game," said Murray. "We've been playing a lot. You have to remember that this is our fifth game in this tournament and we are in a position now where we're fine-tuning ourselves. Our guys are really hitting."

Eichman led the hitting attack against Montoursville with three hits, including a home run, and three RBIs. His two-run homer in the third pushed Lehigh's lead to 6-1, and Lehigh scored in every inning after the first to hand Montoursville its first loss since tournament play began.

"We've got to figure out a way to get these guys out tomorrow, because boy, can they hit the ball," said Jacobson. "After that win they had today, they had to be carrying a little bit of momentum."

"We lost the first game," Murray remarked. "To be in the positon where we are right now, I am elated."

Lehigh completed their comeback from the opening round loss with their second win over Montoursville, and advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Region Tournament in Bristol, Connecticut. The Pennsylvania champions won three of their four pool games, and then defeated Nottingham (Hamilton Square, New Jersey) Little League 10-3 in the semifinal round.

Unlike their come-from-behind exploits at the state tournament, however, Lehigh was victimized by a late rally, as the Harlem (New York) Little League overcame a 4-0 fourth inning deficit to earn a 5-4 win in seven innings and advance to the Little League World Series.

Follow Lehigh at the Mid-Atlantic Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Opening Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Grove City 3 1 0 0 0 4 8 7 3
Bullskin Township 2 1 0 0 1 0 4 9 3
  Winner's Bracket Semifinals
Berwyn-Paoli 1 0 2 0 2 0 5 10 0
Lehigh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
  Winner's Bracket Semifinals
Grove City 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Montoursville 0 1 1 0 3 x 5 6 0
  Loser's Bracket Quarterfinals
Lehigh 1 1 0 0 4 5 11 10 1
Bullskin Township 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 6 3
  Winner's Bracket Finals
Montoursville 0 0 0 0 1 5 6 9 1
Berwyn-Paoli 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 4 0
  Loser's Bracket Semifinals
Grove City 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 5
Lehigh 3 1 2 3 1 10 11 0
  Loser's Bracket Finals
Berwyn-Paoli 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 2 7 - -
Lehigh 2 0 1 0 1 1 0 6 11 - -
  First Championship Game
Lehigh 0 4 2 1 1 4 12 14 1
Montoursville 0 1 1 0 2 3 7 12 2
  Second Championship Game
Lehigh 0 1 0 0 7 0 8 12 2
Montoursville 2 3 1 1 0 0 7 10 1

2002 Pennsylvania District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results:

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D4 - Ingomar National
D5 - State College National
D9 - Bullskin Township (Connellsville)
D11 - Somerset
D26 - Lower Valley (Cheswick)

Section 1 Tournament
Host - Huntingdon (District 11)

Tournament Results:
1 - State College National 6, Lower Valley 0
2 - Bullskin Township 8, Ingomar National 4 (7 innings)
3 - Ingomar National d. Lower Valley (elim.)
4 - State College National 3, Somerset 2 (7 innings)
5 - Somerset 11, Ingomar National 6 (elim.)
6 - Bullskin Township 6, State College National 4
7 - State College National 4, Somerset 4 (elim.)
8 - Bullskin Township 7, State College National 6 (TITLE)

D1 - Tri-Boro North
D2 - Grove City
D7 - Indiana American
D10 - DuBois
D25 - East Butler

Section 2 Tournament
Host - Grove City (District 2)

Tournament Results:
1 - Indiana American 7, Tri-Boro North 6
2 - East Butler 11, DuBois 4
3 - Grove City 11, East Butler 1 (4 innings)
4 - DuBois 10, Tri-Boro North 0 (4 innings; elim.)
5 - Grove City 16, Indiana American 1 (4 innings)
6 - DuBois 14, East Butler 9 (elim.)
7 - DuBois 8, Indiana American 4 (elim.)
8 - Grove City 11, DuBois 9 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D12 - Montoursville
D13 - Danville
D14 - Gettysburg
D15 - Susquehanna County (Montrose)
D24 - Cressona

Section 3 Tournament
Host - Multiple District Sites
Games 1 through 6 at LLB International Headquarters; South Williamsport
At Lamade Stadium and Volunteer Stadium
Championship Game at Montoursville (District 12)

Tournament Results:
1 - Montoursville 11, Susquehanna County 1 (5 innings)
2 - Danville 5, Cressona 4
3 - Montoursville 2, Gettysburg 0
4 - Cressona 5, Susquehanna County 0 (elim.)
5 - Montoursville 7, Danville 0
6 - Gettysburg 12, Cressona 8 (elim.)
7 - Gettysburg 6, Danville 3 (elim.)
8 - Montoursville 8, Gettysburg 3 (TITLE)

D16 - Mountain Top
D17 - Carbino Club (Jessup)
D18 - Tamaqua
D20 - Lehigh (Bethlehem)
D29 - Stroudsburg Maroon

Section 4 Tournament
Host - Slate Belt (Upper Mount Bethel) (District 29)
At Russell S. Reimer Memorial Field

Tournament Results:
1 - Carbino Club 3, Mountain Top 1
2 - Tamaqua 4, Stroudsburg Maroon 1
3 - Lehigh 17, Carbino Club 7
4 - Stroudsburg Maroon 5, Mountain Top 3 (elim.)
5 - Lehigh 5, Tamaqua 0
6 - Stroudsburg Maroon 6, Carbino Club 5 (elim.)
7 - Stroudsburg Maroon 6, Tamaqua 4 (elim.)
8 - Lehigh 9, Stroudsburg Maroon 3 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 5
D19 - Newtown-Edgmont (Newtown Square)
D21 - Levittown Continental
D22 - East Norriton
D23 - Conrad Weiser (Wernersville)
D27 - Berwyn-Paoli
D28 - KAU (Kennett Square)
D30 - Council Rock Northampton

Section 5 Tournament
Host - Newtown-Edgmont (Newtown Square) (District 19)

Tournament Results:
1 - Council Rock Northampton 9, KAU 6
2 - Berwyn-Paoli 7, Newtown-Edgmont 6
3 - Levittown Continental 4, Conrad Weiser 1
4 - Council Rock Northampton 4, East Norriton 2
5 - Berwyn-Paoli 6, Levittown Continental 0
6 - Newtown-Edgmont 11, Conrad Weiser 0 (elim.)
7 - Levittown Continental 10, KAU 6 (elim.)
8 - Newtown-Edgmont 14, East Norriton 3 (4 innings; elim.)
9 - Berwyn-Paoli 6, Council Rock Northampton 5
10 - Newtown-Edgmont 7, Levittown Continental 1 (elim.)
11 - Newtown-Edgmont 2, Council Rock Northampton 1 (elim.)
12 - Berwyn-Paoli 12, Newtown-Edgmont 5 (TITLE)

Toward the past

Toward the present
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Last revision: 06/14/2003