2002 Little League® Baseball West Region Tournament
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West Region Tournament

Toward the past

Toward the present

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

Participating Teams City League
Arizona State Champions Glendale Arrowhead LL
Nevada State Champions Las Vegas Peccole LL
Northern California Divisional Champions Aptos Aptos LL
Southern California Divisional Champions Anaheim West Anaheim LL
Utah State Champions Taylorsville Taylorsville LL
Wyoming State Champions Laramie Laramie LL

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

Tournament Results:

Saturday, August 3:
Peccole (Nevada) 4, Taylorsville (Utah) 2
Arrowhead (Arizona) 2, West Anaheim (So. California) 1

Sunday, August 4:
Aptos (No. California) 2, Laramie (Wyoming) 0

Monday, August 5:
Peccole (Nevada) 5, Laramie (Wyoming) 2
Arrowhead (Arizona) 5, Taylorsville (Utah) 3 (8 innings)

Tuesday, August 6:
Taylorsville (Utah) 4, West Anaheim (So. California) 1 (7 innings)
Aptos (No. California) 2, Peccole (Nevada) 0

Wednesday, August 7:
Aptos (No. California) 5, Arrowhead (Arizona) 3
West Anaheim (So. California) 1, Peccole (Nevada) 0

Thursday, August 8:
Taylorsville (Utah) 2, Laramie (Wyoming) 1

Friday, August 9:
Arrowhead (Arizona) 7, Laramie (Wyoming) 2
West Anaheim (So. California) 7, Aptos (No. California) 4



Aptos (No. California) 3 1 7
Arrowhead (Arizona) 3 1 11
Peccole (Nevada) 2 2 7
Taylorsville (Utah) 2 2 11
West Anaheim (So. California) 2 2 10
Laramie (Wyoming) 0 4 16

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 (Sunday, August 11):

Arrowhead (Arizona) 4, Peccole (Nevada) 3 (8 innings)
Aptos (No. California) 4, Taylorsville (Utah) 1

Championship Game (Tuesday, August 13):

Aptos (No. California) 4, Arrowhead (Arizona) 3 (TITLE)


For the Aptos (Northern California) Little League, the Western Region Tournament unfolded with the arc of a made-for-television movie.

There was the tension of a close game, as Aptos stood three outs away from elimination while trailing Arrowhead (Glendale, Arizona) Little League in the tournament's championship game.

There was drama, as a mistake by Little League officials nearly advanced the wrong team into the tournament's semifinal round.

And there was adversity, as Tyler Raymond stepped to the plate with the game on the line while struggling through a 1-for-10 performance in the tournament.

For Aptos, the most important plot development was a happy ending.

Raymond delivered a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to lift Aptos to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Arrowhead in the Western Region championship game at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, California.

With the win, Aptos advanced to the Little League World Series.

Raymond's heroics capped Aptos' comeback in the nationally-televised region championship game, but the Northern California champions had become accustomed to life in the spotlight. A New York-based PBS film crew creating a documentary about Little League Baseball had followed Aptos and several other leagues around the country over the course of the summer. The crew descended on the small Santa Cruz County community in April, and stayed with the club as it made its way to South Williamsport.

"At first it was a little disconcerting, because (they) were always there," said manager Dave Anderson. "But we've gotten to know them pretty well, and . . . we don't even know they're around."

Aptos looked Williamsport-bound early in the championship game, as pitcher Kyle Anderson took a one-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. But Arrowhead's Chris Capper doubled, and Tyler Salefsky and Anthony Corirossi reached on infield singles to load the bases with nobody out. Dustin Grande then ripped a two-run single that ricocheted off the Aptos first baseman. After Corirossi scored on a wild pitch, Arrowhead carried a 3-1 advantage into the sixth.

But Aptos managed one final rally. Andrew Biancardi led off the sixth with a single, and Justin Burns fouled off several pitches before drawing a walk. That brought up Raymond, who made the most of his 6' frame to line a home run over the center field fence.

"We wanted to throw an outside pitch to Raymond, and I think that's what (we) did," said Arrowhead manager Tim Welch. "But the kid is just so big and strong that he got his arms fully extended and just hit the heck out of it."

Raymond's heroics helped Kyle Anderson record his third win of the tournament. The left-hander tossed a four-hitter in Aptos' 2-0 win over Laramie (Wyoming) Little League in his team's opener, and combined with Raymond to defeat Arrowhead 5-3 later in pool competition.

Aptos finished pool play with a 3-1 record, losing only to Southern California champion West Anaheim Little League by a 7-5 score. West Anaheim's win closed the round-robin portion of the schedule, and also win engulfed the tournament in controversy.

West Anaheim's win gave the SoCal champions a 2-2 record, good for a tie with Peccole (Las Vegas, Nevada) Little League and Taylorsville (Utah) Little League for third place in the standings. Little League officials initially mis-applied the tournament's tiebreaking rules, and advanced Peccole and West Anaheim to the semifinal round as the two teams that allowed the lowest runs per defensive inning among the tied teams.

Taylorsville filed a protest, correctly pointing out that the second team to advance should be the winner of the head-to-head game between the remaining tied teams. Taylorsville had edged West Anaheim 4-1 in extra innings on the fourth day of the tournament.

Western Region officials unknowingly complicated the situation by omitting the second tiebreaking criteria from the tournament rules provided to participating teams. West Anaheim carried a 7-1 lead into the final inning of their win over Aptos, and believed that they could allow up to four runs and still advance based on the tiebreaking rules provided to the teams. Instead, Biancardi's two-out, three-run homer effectively eliminated the SoCal champions from the tournament.

Williamsport officials upheld Taylorsville's protest, and the Utah champions grabbed an early 1-0 lead against Aptos pitcher Kevin Eichhorn in the semifinal round. But Eichhorn's bases-loaded smash off the Taylorsville pitcher's leg in the second inning scored Brian Godoy and Drew McCauley to lift the Northern California team into a lead it would never relinquish. Aptos added a run later in the inning, and rode Eichhorn's five-hit, no walk effort to a 4-1 win.

Arrowhead, which featured six eleven-year-olds on its roster, rallied past Peccole 4-3 in eight innings in the other semifinal. The Nevada champions built a 3-0 lead early, and still held a 3-2 advantage when Arrowhead pitcher Nick Carillo opened the sixth inning with a home run that forced extra innings. Carillo led off again in the eighth, and this time singled before eventually scoring on Ryan Freberg's one-out single into left field.

"To take a group of kids, with six of them eleven, and have them jell like they have and stand up to the competition is remarkable," said Welch before the tournament. Arrowhead beat West Anaheim and Taylorsville in round-robin play, in addition to a win over Laramie.

"These kids are not intimidated by anything," said Welch. "For us to get here, every third team we played outsized us, like men against boys."

In the championship game, a six-foot man-child with a batting average well below the Mendoza line was the difference-maker.

"I wasn't surprised at all when he hit that," said Dave Anderson of Raymond's title game homer. "He's kind of like the (former major leaguer) Dave Kingman of the team. He'll either hit it out or hit a rocket to someone."

Kingman, whose feast-or-famine batting exploits were legendary, never played in a major league World Series, but Raymond's blast punched his team's ticket to South Williamsport.

"Iíve been watching the Little League World Series for the last four or five years," said Dave Anderson. "I canít believe Iím actually going there."

"When you think of all the teams and leagues out there, it's just amazing," said the NoCal manager. "Every all-star coach probably tells his team they can go to Williamsport, but do most of us believe it? Probably not. Well, we're on our way."

At the Little League World Series, Aptos finished third in its pool with a 1-2 record.


  Semifinal Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Peccole 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 1
Arrowhead 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 4 7 0
  Semifinal Round
Aptos 0 3 0 0 0 1 4 6 0
Taylorsville 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
  Championship Game
Aptos 1 0 0 0 0 3 4 9 3
Arrowhead 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 4 3

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Last revision: 06/19/2003