The infield grass is a bright emerald green and perfectly cut. The state flags are ready, dorm rooms clean, and menus finalized. With television cameras being set up and families completing last-minute travel plans, 10 state champions and two California divisional champions descend on San Bernardino for the 48th Annual Little League Baseball® Western Regional Tournament, set to begin on Sunday, August 5.
The tournament includes the West Region and Northwest Region brackets, as one team from each region will move on to play in the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
There will be four games on Sunday. The first will be held at 9 a.m. with Hawaii (Honolulu LL) playing Arizona (Sunnyside LL from Tucson) in the West Region opener. The opening game for the Northwest Region will be between Oregon (Murrayhill LL from Beaverton) and Alaska (Gastineau Channel LL of Juneau) at 11:30 a.m., followed by Washington (West Seattle LL) playing Idaho (Coeur d’ Alene LL) at 4 p.m.
Prior to the 4 p.m. game, former MLB player Calvin Pickering will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He was a pioneer for the players coming from the Virgin Islands, being only the 10th player from that region.
The nightcap will feature a California matchup with Southern California (Park View LL from Chula Vista) playing the Northern California champion (Tri-City LL from Rocklin).
Prior to the 7:30 p.m. contest, Northeast Los Angeles LL will be presented with the 2018 Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award. Named in honor of the founder of Little League, the Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award was created in conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of Little League in 2014. The award is presented annually to a local Little League program that has worked with their community to create a lasting impact and positive environment for the families and children in their hometown.
Opening ceremonies will be held prior to the last game (approximately 6 p.m.) and will be highlighted by the Parade of State Champions with all 12 teams on the field. The teams and fans will be treated to a special fly-over by one of the helicopters from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Air Division. Mayor R. Carey Davis from the City of San Bernardino is also scheduled to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. The new Western Region Director, April Meehleder, will be presiding over the ceremonies and welcoming the teams to the Western Region Headquarters.
The Northwest Region will continue on Monday, August 6, with Montana (Boulder Arrowhead LL from Billings) taking on the winner of the Oregon/Alaska game at 9 a.m., while Wyoming (Gillette LL) will play the winner of Washington/Idaho at 7 p.m. that evening.
In the West Region, Utah (Dixie LL from St. George) will play the winner of Arizona/Hawaii at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, August 6, with the winner of Southern California/Northern California playing Nevada (Silverado West LL from Las Vegas) at 4:30 p.m.
The Western Regional Tournament will have games on Tuesday, August 7, and Wednesday, August 8, as the tournament progresses. Tuesday’s games will be at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Wednesday, there will be two games at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The semifinals for the Northwest Region will take place at Noon on Thursday, August 9, and Friday, August 10, with the championship game set for Noon on Saturday, August 11. The West Region semifinals will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday with the championship game at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The winners of both Regions will see their first action in the Little League Baseball World Series on Friday, August 17.
The Western Regional semifinals and championship games will be broadcast live on ESPN with the remaining games being carried on ESPN+.
All West Region and Northwest Region tournament games will be played at Al Houghton Stadium on the Little League Western Region Headquarters site, 6707 Little League Drive, San Bernardino, Calif. Admission for all games is FREE.
For more information on the Little League Baseball Western and Northwestern Regional Tournaments, visit LittleLeague.org.