The Edgewood Little League of Bristol, Connecticut, fought off an if-necessary game challenge Wednesday afternoon to become the seventh team to qualify for the Senior League World Series.
Bristol won the U.S. East championship by edging Johnston, Rhode Island, 2-1 in the final game at West Deptford, New Jersey. Johnston had handed the Connecticut team its first loss in the double-elimination tournament earlier in the day, 1-0.
This will mark the first appearance for a Connecticut team in the SLWS since its move to Bangor in 2002.
The Bristol squad as well as teams from Texas and Hawaii are the most recent qualifiers for the Senior League World Series, which begins Sunday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.
The West University Little League of Houston, Texas, secured its fourth U.S. Southwest championship in the last six years Tuesday night while the Central East Maui Little League of Wailuku, Hawaii, won the U.S. West title to secure its first SLWS berth since the tournament was moved to the Queen City in 2002.
The trio will join host Bangor (Maine District 3), Curacao (Latin America), Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Asia-Pacific) and Emilia, Italy (Europe-Africa) as teams that have clinched berths in the 10-team SLWS field to crown the Little League Baseball world champion for 14- to 16-year-olds.
Two more regions, the U.S. Southeast and Central, were to determine their representatives later Wednesday, with Team Canada to be crowned Thursday evening.
SLWS opening ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, with the first game of pool play set for noon Sunday when Bangor faces Canada.
That traditional tournament opener kicks off five days of pool play with four games each day. The top two teams in each of the two, five-team pools advance to the semifinals on Friday, Aug. 15. The SLWS championship game will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16.
Texas East champion West University LL of Houston, Texas, won the six-team U.S. Southwest regional played at Seguin, Texas, with a 9-1 victory over Corpus Christi, Texas, in the final.
The West University all-stars won the 2009 SLWS, then returned to Bangor in 2010 and 2012.
This year’s team defeated its three regional opponents by a combined score of 30-2.
Central East Maui LL of Wailuku, Hawaii, defeated Manhattan Beach, California, 12-4 at Ontario, California, late Tuesday evening to win the U.S. West berth.
The Hawaiian team finished 5-0 in its nine-team regional.
This will mark that particular program’s first trip to the SLWS during the event’s stay in Bangor but will mark the second straight year and seventh time in the last 13 years that a team from Hawaii has qualified.
Previous Hawaiian teams to visit Bangor have represented Pearl City and Hilo, with Hilo winning SLWS championships in 2003 and 2011. Pearl City reached last year’s semifinals.