Michigan, Virginia advance to SLWS; Canadian champ to be crowned Thursday night

Posted Aug. 07, 2014, at 9:22 a.m.

Just one slot remains to be filled for this year’s Senior League World Series after teams from Michigan and Virginia qualified Wednesday.

The Senior League World Series, Little League Baseball’s world championship for 14- to 16-year-olds, begins Sunday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

The one remaining opening in the 10-team field is the Canadian representative, to be determined Thursday night in Victoriaville, Quebec, when the Prairies region champion from North Regina, Saskatchewan, takes on Whalley-New Westminster, British Columbia.

The Canadian champion will square off against SLWS host and Maine District 3 champion Bangor in the opening game of five days of pool play at noon Sunday.

The Western Little League of Grand Rapids, Michigan, earned the U.S. Central berth to the SLWS on Wednesday night with an 8-1 victory over Wabash, Indiana, at Peru, Illinois.

The Michigan team, which lost its first game of the regional tournament, advanced to the final earlier Wednesday with a 4-2 victory over Ottawa, Illinois.

The Grand Rapids program will be participating in the SLWS for the second time in three years after going 2-2 in pool play and reaching the semifinals in 2012.

Michigan will be representing the U.S. Central in the tournament for the third time in four years, with a team from Midland, Michigan, competing in 2011.

The Dumfries District Little League of Dumfries, Virginia, won the U.S. Southeast crown Wednesday by defeating Martinez, Georgia, 16-6, Wednesday at Parrish, Florida.

Virginia went undefeated in that seven-team regional to earn that state’s first trip to the SLWS since Yorktown, Virginia, reached the 2006 SLWS semifinals.

Martinez, Georgia, was seeking to return to the SLWS after going 3-1 in pool play last August and advancing to the semifinals, where it lost a 5-4 decision to eventual tournament champion Chitre, Panama.

Other teams that have earned berths in this year’s SLWS are Bangor (Maine District 3), West University Little League of Houston, Texas (U.S. Southwest), Wailuku, Hawaii (U.S. West), Bristol, Connecticut (U.S. East), Curacao (Latin America), Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Asia-Pacific) and Emilia, Italy (Europe-Africa).

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