2002 Little League World Series

From BR Bullpen

The 2002 Little League World Series was the 56th Little League World Series. Teams were Regina, SK, Willemstad, Agana, Sendai, Miyagi, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Moscow, Dhahran, Valencia, Carabobo, Aptos, CA, Waipahu, HI, Louisville, KY, Worcester, MA, Webb City, MO (the first LLWS team from Missouri), Harlem, NY, Southwest Forsyth (Clemmons, NC) and Fort Worth, TX.

The Series saw a record 36 complete games and 12 shutouts. There were three no-hitters: Reimus Roosburg (Willemstad) blanked Moscow (4 inning mercy rule), Yuuji Nakae (Sendai) against Monterrey (4 Inn) and Yoshinori Sato (6 Inn) against Moscow. Sendai pitched a record six complete games and tied the record of four shutouts while posting a 0.38 ERA. Dennis Neuman (Willemstad) allowed no earned runs in 12 innings and threw a record three complete games.

Louisville set a record with 78 strikeouts. Three pitchers fared very well: Aaron Alvey set records for IP (22), consecutive shutout innings (20, the old high being 12), consecutive hitless innings (12, tying Sean Burroughs' record) and K (44, 8 more than the old record), Zach Osborne allowed 0 ER in 13 IP and Frank Flynn pitched a record three complete games. For Fort Worth, Walker Kelly allowed no earned runs in 15 innings. Louisville and Fort Worth got into a dramatic pitching duel between Alvey and Kelly. Kelly struck out 21 in 9 innings (one shy of the record) and Alvey had a nine-inning no-hitter when he left with a 0-0 tie; neither pitcher had allowed a hit in the regulation six innings. Michael Valdez fanned five in relief of Kelly in a 2-1 Louisville win in 11 innings. There were 49 strikeouts that game, shattering the LLWS record of 37 set in 1950.

In the finale, a pitching duel was little surprise given the way things had been going. Alvey homered off Yosuke Koto in the first and neither team scored again, Alvey (11 K, 2 BB, 0 R in 6 IP) and Koto (10 K, 2 BB, 1 R in 6 IP) each flinging three-hitters. Alvey got two of Louisville's hits while RF Yuuki Chiba got two of Sendai's hits.

Sources: 2012 LLWS Media Guide, 2003 Baseball Almanac