Field set for this upcoming week at LL World Series

From staff reports

The 2017 Little League World Series field is complete.

The final six U.S. regional champions were crowned Satur­day as well as the Canadian champion. Winners included. Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Fairfield, Connecticut; Walla Wal­la, Washington; Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Jackson, New Jersey and Rancho San Margarita, Cal­ifornia. White Rock, British Col­um­bia also won a regional championship, taking the Canada title. White Rock beat Quebec, 12-5.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota won the game’s first game, beating 2015 Series qualifier Webb City, Missouri, 6-0 and capturing the Midwest championship. Sioux Falls scored four fourth inning runs and Marcus Phillips threw 5 1/3 innings of one-hit baseball while striking out eight.

Sioux Falls is making its first appearance at the Series and is undefeated this summer. Sioux Falls, in its first year of existence, went 4-0 at regionals. The Midwest champions make their Series debut against Southeast champion Greenville, North Carolina Friday night at Lamade Stadium.

Fairfield is returning to the Series for the third time since 2010 after thumping South Portland, Maine, 10-0 and winning the New England championship. Michael Ianazzo hit two two-run doubles and Ethan Wrighter threw 4 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball while striking out nine. Fairfield is undefeated this summer, going 16-0 and routed all three opponents at Bristol, outscoring them 27-4. The New England champions play in the Series first U.S. game Thursday at Lamade Stadium against Mid-Atlantic champion Jackson, New Jersey.

Jackson capped a dominant run through regionals, thumping Thurmont, Maryland, 8-3 and winning the Mid-Atlantic title. Jackson scored 43 runs in four regional games and scored seven runs in the first two innings, including six in the second. Maryland cut it to four runs in the fourth inning, but Chris Andrews threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to close it out. Chris Cartnick hit a first-inning home run, his fourth at regionals, and winning pitcher Tai Mann highlighted the six-run second inning with a 2-run home run.

Grosse Pointe, Michigan completed an impressive run through the loser’s bracket and handed Hins­dale, Illinois its first loss, winning the Great Lakes Regional championship, 6-3. Grosse Pointe also played at the Series in 2013 and won four straight elimination games after dropping its first regional contest.

A team that overcame deficits three times in its last four games did it again Saturday. Grosse Pointe scored five fifth-inning runs to turn a one-run deficit into a four-run lead.

Grosse Pointe will play its first Series game Thurs­day night at Lamade Stadium against South­west champion Lufkin, Texas.

Walla Walla, Washing­ton avenged its only regional tournament loss, winning a 4-3 thriller over La Grande, Oregon and capturing the Northwest championship. Reliever Carson Jones stranded the tying run at second with a game-ending strikeout. Walla Walla scored four fourth-inning runs and both Caiden Thomsen and Jones combined to strike out 10. Andrew Hall sparked the Walla Walla offense, going 3 for 3 with a double.

Walla Walla plays its first Series game Friday afternoon against West Champion Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

Rancho Santa Margar­ita continued California’s dominance at regionals, winning an exciting 11-7 slugfest over St. George, Utah and capturing the West championship. Santa Margarita pounded out 17 hits and launched four home runs as it held off a furious Utah rally. The teams combined for seven home runs and Santa Margarita scored 23 runs in its last two wins.

Drew Rutter homered twice and Bobby Gray hit a go-ahead fourth-inning home run while earning the win by throwing 5 2/3 innings of four-hit baseball. Gray’s twin brother Joey delivered a clutch hit in the sixth inning, belting a two-out, 3-run home run over the right-field fence after Utah had trimmed a five-run deficit to 8-7 an inning earlier.

Utah tied the game in the third inning when Cole Decastro hit a two-out, 3-run home run. Gray, though, led off the next inning by drilling the first pitch over the right field fence for the go-ahead home run and Santa Margarita never trailed again. Mason Kesterson and Parker Andrus homered in the fifth inning as Utah pulled within 8-7. Utah overcame two six-run deficits during regionals but was denied its first Series berth.

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