Special Section: Big Sky State Games

RSSLittle League Baseball World Series

Big Sky All-Stars one win away from LLWS

Big Sky All-Stars one win away from LLWS

Big Sky players Hayden Gall, right, and Connor Polkowske celebrate after beating Oregon Thursday in the semifinal of the Little League Northwest Regional.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The Big Sky All-Stars of Billings are one win away from going to Williamsport. Again.

Big Sky pulled off a role reversal with some big plays — and some shutout pitching from Jack Leuthold — in Thursday’s 3-0 victory over Lake Oswego, Ore., in the semifinals of the Little League Northwest Regional tournament.

The result reversed Big Sky’s 8-2 setback to Lake Oswego on Wednesday in the final pool-play game for both teams. Thursday’s win sends Big Sky into Saturday’s 3 p.m. championship game against Sammamish, Wash., which scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth Thursday night to stun Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 5-4.

Saturday’s winner advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., which Big Sky did in 2011 to become Montana’s first-ever World Series team.

Leuthold struck out four batters, yielding three hits while not walking anyone and throwing just 67 pitches in the six-inning complete game. Leuthold didn’t do the bulk of the pitching in the district and state tournaments, but Big Sky coach Rob Schiano was impressed by Leuthold’s pitching effort against Alaska earlier in the tournament.

August 08, 2013 4:40 pm Photos

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Feature photos: Big Sky All-Stars at the Griz game

Feature photos: Big Sky All-Stars at the Griz game

Members of the Big Sky Little League All-Stars are introduced to the crowd attending the University of Montana football game against Cal Poly at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Saturday. The Billings team was flown to Missoula by the University of Montana to attend the game and be recognized.

The University of Montana flew the Big Sky Little League All-Stars to Missoula so the team could attend the UM football game Saturday and be recognized.

September 10, 2011 7:05 pm Photos

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Community congratulations

Little Leaguers gave us a great journey

Being the mom of a Big Sky All Stars Little Leaguer is truly special, but this year it was a bit more. I am proud to have even a small part in…

September 06, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Players, coaches brought our community together

Many people will say our Big Sky Little Leaguers' success in the LLWS puts Billings on the map.  What the Big Sky coaches and players did was …

September 05, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Little Leaguers represented our region well

Thank you, Big Sky Little League!

September 05, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Little League saga brought brightness to our days

It's been wonderful each morning of late to start my day with the Big Sky All-Stars. The photos are outstanding, the moments caught priceless,…

September 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Let's celebrate all who helped Little Leaguers flourish

The team from Big Sky Little League captivated many of us over the past few weeks. Having a son in the league, as well as coaching in it, it w…

September 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

All-Stars' created lasting memories

Congratulations to the "boys" from Billings Little League Big Sky baseball team. You all showed what a great state we have here in Montana and…

September 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Little Leaguers inspire memories of yore

Congratulations to the Billings Little League team on your amazing baseball season! You were so much fun to watch on your run in California an…

September 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Little Leaguers gave us a stirring end to summer

Thank you, Big Sky All-Stars, their manager, coaches and parents for a memorable end to August 2011. Summer was winding down — all the fun tri…

September 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Congratulations to Little Leaguers, from Missoula

Just a quick note from across the Divide to congratulate Billings' fantastic Big Sky All-Stars on a remarkable season. Montanans wrestle with …

September 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

All-Stars reminded us of the beauty sports can inspire

Thank you, Big Sky Little League All-Stars, for reminding me of the beauty of a great game, one meant to be played and coached by people dedic…

September 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Ball team provided inspiration to many

My family has been glued to the television for the last couple of weeks. In fact every household and store I went into had on the Little Leagu…

September 02, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Little Leaguers were winners all the way

What an unfortunate headline in our Sunday Gazette to "welcome" home our All-Stars: "Fall short" and "One step short"? In no way did these fin…

September 02, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Congratulations due for Little League team

Congratulations on the successful accomplishment by the Big Sky Little Leaguers and coaches at the Little League World Series. You represented…

September 02, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Thank you, All-Stars, for a wonderful experience

Thank you, All-Stars, for a wonderful experience

What an amazing ride for the Big Sky All-Stars.

August 29, 2011 12:10 am Related Loading…

Guest opinion: Big Sky All-Stars spread true magic of Little League across the region

Guest opinion: Big Sky All-Stars spread true magic of Little League across the region

The Big Sky All-Stars have captivated Montana for a month now. Wednesday’s victory over the scoring juggernaut from Huntington Beach, Calif., …

August 27, 2011 12:00 am Related Loading…

Motorcade, Dehler Park celebration set for All-Stars

Motorcade, Dehler Park celebration set for All-Stars

The Big Sky Little League All-Stars will be recognized during a celebration Saturday that includes a motorcade and a program at Dehler Park.

September 03, 2011 12:00 am Related Loading…

8 of the All-Stars honored at their school

8 of the All-Stars honored at their school

Eight members of the Big Sky Little League All-Stars got a little love on their home field on Thursday afternoon.

September 01, 2011 5:36 pmLoading…

Little Leaguers have busy schedule after tournament

A fundraiser for families of the Big Sky All-Stars is set for 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Al Bedoo Shrine Auditorium, at 1125 Broadwater Ave.…

August 31, 2011 4:30 pmLoading…

Joe Kusek: The 'Boys from Billings' let us all be kids for a month

The pictures. Look at the pictures.

August 31, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Big Sky All-Stars make name for themselves around the nation

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Over a two-week period in August, three forces of nature struck Pennsylvania: an earthquake, a hurricane and the Bi…

August 31, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

A reporter's vignettes from South Williamsport

Sitting in Lamade (rhymes with comedy) Stadium in South Williamsport is about as close as you can get to a major league field, except, of cour…

August 31, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Celebration to welcome home Big Sky All-Stars

Celebration to welcome home Big Sky All-Stars

The community is invited to come out and support the Big Sky All-Stars during a celebration Saturday that includes a motorcade and a program a…

August 30, 2011 11:45 pm Related Loading…

The Big Sky All-Stars' road to the championship game

Six weeks before they played six consecutive games on national TV and became the Cinderella story of the 2011 Little League World Series, the …

August 29, 2011 2:11 amLoading…

Little Leaguers return home to fans, family

Little Leaguers return home to fans, family

After 26 days on the road, 12-year-old Andy Maehl said he was most excited to sleep in his own bed and see his dog again.

August 28, 2011 11:20 pm Photos

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California beats Japan 2-1 to take Little League World Series

California beats Japan 2-1 to take Little League World Series

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - California returned the Little League World Series title to the United States with the type of victory even the big …

August 28, 2011 4:47 pmLoading…

Big Sky All-Stars, families heading home

Big Sky All-Stars, families heading home

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- With the Big Sky All-Stars' streak at the Little League World Series at an end, the boys and their families are foc…

August 28, 2011 9:12 amLoading…

Download the Big Sky All-stars poster

Download the Big Sky All-stars poster

Download the Big Sky All-stars poster congratulating them on their Little League World Series run.

August 28, 2011 8:19 am Related Loading…

Unexpected run at Little League World Series ends in U.S. title game

Unexpected run at Little League World Series ends in U.S. title game

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The Big Sky All-Stars' amazing run at the Little League World Series came to an end Saturday with an 11-2 loss to th…

August 27, 2011 7:12 pm Photos

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Billings' amazing run ends in U.S. Little League championship game, 11-2

Billings' amazing run ends in U.S. Little League championship game, 11-2

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A rematch with the Billings Big Sky All-Stars turned into a comfortable win for the Little Leaguers from California.

August 27, 2011 3:38 pm Photos

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Fans back home proud of Little Leaguers' effort

Fans back home proud of Little Leaguers' effort

In the midst of a packed Montana State University Billings Petro Theatre at the end of the Little League World Series championship game Saturd…

August 27, 2011 2:21 pm Photos

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World Series caps ‘phenomenal' year for Big Sky Little League teams

World Series caps ‘phenomenal' year for Big Sky Little League teams

Forty-two. That's the total number of players in the 11-12 Majors age division in Billings' Big Sky Little League. And from those 42 players, …

August 26, 2011 8:04 pm Related Loading…

Little League World Series consolation game canceled

With Hurricane Irene bearing down on the East Coast, Little League has moved its World Series championship game to noon Sunday and canceled Su…

August 26, 2011 6:39 pmLoading…

3 sites to show Little League game

3 sites to show Little League game

Two Billings theaters and Dehler Park will show Saturday's U.S. championship game at the Little League World Series for free. 

August 26, 2011 6:08 pm Related Loading…

Lewis and Clark Middle School rallies behind Little Leaguers

Lewis and Clark Middle School rallies behind Little Leaguers

When Jeanann Lemelin left the state earlier this year to play in a regional softball championship, the question she got asked the most was whe…

August 26, 2011 6:00 pm Related Loading…

Billings kids have game faces on for Saturday's championship

Billings kids have game faces on for Saturday's championship

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Saturday is the big day, the U.S. championship game that will decide which American team will represent its country…

August 26, 2011 5:21 pm Photos

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Facebook fan page gains thousands in a week

Facebook fan page gains thousands in a week

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Here's the deal. I can tell you how many fans the Big Sky Little League All-Stars Facebook page has right now.

August 26, 2011 3:40 pm Related Loading…

Parade, Dehler Park celebration set Sept. 3 for Big Sky All-Stars

Parade, Dehler Park celebration set Sept. 3 for Big Sky All-Stars

A community celebration for the Big Sky All-Stars has been set for Sept. 3.

August 26, 2011 3:15 pm Related Loading…

7 state officials send letter to Big Sky All-Stars, coaches, parents

7 state officials send letter to Big Sky All-Stars, coaches, parents

Montana's seven statewide elected officials sent a letter Friday to the players, coaches and parents of the Big Sky All-Stars team from Billings.

August 26, 2011 2:45 pm Related Loading…

Congressional delegation praises Little Leaguers' World Series play

Congressional delegation praises Little Leaguers' World Series play

Montana's congressional delegation has Big Sky All-Stars fever, too.

August 26, 2011 10:15 am Related Loading…

Rituals, superstitions play role for Billings Little Leaguers, parents

Rituals, superstitions play role for Billings Little Leaguers, parents

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The tradition of superstitions and rituals in baseball probably goes back as far back as baseball itself.

August 26, 2011 12:00 am Photos

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Billings to face California in U.S. final at Little League World Series

Billings to face California in U.S. final at Little League World Series

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Hagen Danner pitched the biggest game of his Little League career before a large, passionate crowd rarely seen at yo…

August 25, 2011 8:44 pm Related Loading…

Griz give respect to Big Sky All-Stars

Griz give respect to Big Sky All-Stars

This truly is Montana's team.

August 25, 2011 6:43 pmLoading…

After turbulent start, mom makes it to LLWS

After turbulent start, mom makes it to LLWS

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa., — Brandi MacDonald had only missed a couple of baseball games her son, Brock, has ever played.

August 25, 2011 5:30 pm Photos

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Ben Askelson hits walkoff homer in 7th inning; Billings shocks Huntington Beach 1-0 to reach U.S. championship of LLWS

Ben Askelson hits walkoff homer in 7th inning; Billings shocks Huntington Beach 1-0 to reach U.S. championship of LLWS

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Ben Askelson stepped up to the plate thinking curveball.

August 25, 2011 2:30 pm Photos

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Area businesses chip in on travel costs for little league parents

Area businesses chip in on travel costs for little league parents

It’s not cheap for the families of the Big Sky Little League All-Stars to be with the team in South Williamsport, Pa., during its historic run…

August 25, 2011 11:04 amLoading…

Buffalo Wild Wings to donate game-day sales to Little League travel fund

Restaurant donates percentage of sales

August 24, 2011 8:58 pmLoading…

Montana advances to LLWS bracket finals with walk-off home run

Montana advances to LLWS bracket finals with walk-off home run

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) - Ben Askelson stepped up to the plate thinking curveball.

August 24, 2011 8:00 pm Photos

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Billings to face new friends from California in World Series

Billings to face new friends from California in World Series

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — When the Big Sky All-Stars take to the field Wednesday night at the Little League World Series, they will see some …

August 23, 2011 8:00 pm Photos

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Former Boulder-Arrowhead all-star roots for Billings boys

Former Boulder-Arrowhead all-star roots for Billings boys

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Jamie Spencer is taking a little walk down memory lane these days.

August 23, 2011 4:50 pm Photos

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Mustangs catching Big Sky fever

On average, around 3,100 fans show up to Dehler Park each night to cheer the Mustangs, making them the premier sports attraction in the city.

August 22, 2011 11:30 pmLoading…

Billings players gather World Series memories -- and lots of pins

Billings players gather World Series memories -- and lots of pins

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The Little League World Series experience is all about making memories.

August 22, 2011 9:00 pm Photos

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Pitching, defense, timely hits key to victory, Big Sky coach says

Pitching, defense, timely hits key to victory, Big Sky coach says

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — At a news conference after the Big Sky All-Stars' 3-1 victory Sunday over Lafayette, La., Big Sky coach Gene Carlson…

August 21, 2011 9:00 pm Photos

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Fans gather at MSUB to cheer on Little Leaguers

Fans gather at MSUB to cheer on Little Leaguers

If you were at Montana State University Billings' Petro Theatre on Sunday to watch the Big Sky All Stars' 3-1 victory over Lafayette, La., in …

August 21, 2011 6:00 pm Photos

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Big Sky All-Stars just normal kids

Big Sky All-Stars just normal kids

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The 12 Billings baseball players who make up the Big Sky All-Stars are unique. They’re the only players in Montana b…

August 21, 2011 12:10 am Related Loading…

Long summer worth it to Big Sky coaches

Long summer worth it to Big Sky coaches

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — By the time they go back to Billings, Big Sky All-Stars coaches Mark Kieckbusch and Tom Zimmer will have spent nearl…

August 20, 2011 8:08 pm Photos

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Billings players focused on another Little League World Series win

Billings players focused on another Little League World Series win

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Baseball is a game, but when the Big Sky All-Stars go out to practice, they're ready to work.

August 20, 2011 4:00 pm Photos

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Get to know the Billings Big Sky All-Stars

The 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds, who make up the Big Sky Little League All-Star team, were asked what they like to do when they're not playing b…

August 20, 2011 3:00 pmLoading…

Billings fans can view game for free at Petro, Wynnsong theaters

Billings fans can view game for free at Petro, Wynnsong theaters

August 20, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Little League manager shares love of game with Billings kids

Little League manager shares love of game with Billings kids

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Gene Carlson enjoys his role as Little League baseball coach.

August 20, 2011 12:00 am Related Loading…

Feature photos: Little League World Series

Feature photos: Little League World Series

View photos from the of the Billings Big Sky All-stars the Little League World Series.

August 19, 2011 12:20 pm Photos

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Billings players, parents giddy over 1st Little League World Series win

Billings players, parents giddy over 1st Little League World Series win

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — When the Big Sky All-Stars won their first game at the Little League World Series on Thursday afternoon, it was a te…

August 18, 2011 8:17 pm Photos

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