The 2009 Senior League World Series champions will be back to defend their crown.
The West University Little League of Houston, Texas, won the U.S. Southwest championship for the second straight year Wednesday night, edging Albuquerque, N.M., 6-3 in the regional title game at Seguin, Texas.
The Texas East representatives completed an undefeated (4-0) run through its regional to earn a return trip to Bangor’s Mansfield Stadium for the 2010 Senior League World Series that runs Aug. 15-21.
Just one spot in the 10-team field remained to be filled after South Vineland, N.J., won the U.S. East title Thursday morning.
District 5 of Vancouver, B.C. was to play the East Park Little League of Edmonton, Alberta, for the Canadian championship on Thursday night.
The SLWS begins with five days of pool play leading to the semifinals on Friday, Aug. 20, and the world championship game for Little League players ages 15 and 16 on Saturday, Aug. 21.
Houston finished SLWS pool play last year with a 3-1 record, then defeated Makati City, Philippines 7-6 in the semifinals before edging Fremont, Calif., 9-7 in the championship game.
This will mark the third straight year and seventh time in the nine years the SLWS has been in Bangor that a team from Texas has represented the U.S. Southwest.
The U.S. Southwest is 18-13 in pool play during SLWS tournaments in Bangor, advancing to the semifinals in 2002 (Northwest 45 Little League of Houston) and 2007 (Tyler, Texas) as well as last year’s title run by the West University Little League of Houston.
In Thursday’s U.S. East final, South Vineland, N.J., earned its second straight trip to Bangor and fourth SLWS berth in the last nine years with a 7-2 victory over Scranton, Pa.
The New Jersey team went undefeated in five games at its regional.
South Vineland previously came to Bangor in 2002, 2003 and 2009, finishing pool play with a 2-2 record each year.
New Jersey has now qualified a team for the SLWS each of the nine years the event has been hosted by Bangor, a run highlighted by the world championships won by Freehold Township in 2004 and Upper Deerfield in 2008.
The U.S. East is 21-11 in pool play over the last eight years.
At Saint John, New Brunswick, teams from Vancouver and Edmonton advanced to Thursday night’s Canadian final with semifinal victories earlier in the day, Vancouver defeated Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, 13-3 while Edmonton edged the host team from Saint John 1-0.
Canada is 12-20 in SLWS pool play at Bangor, with its 2008 entry from Surrey, B.C., its only entry to reach the semifinals.
Canada will face Maine District 3 champion Bangor in the opening game of the SLWS at noon Sunday.