Amelia Guaynabo Baseball Little League makes history by earning Puerto Rico’s first-ever direct entry into the LLBWS
Amelia Guaynabo Baseball Little League was crowned the 2022 Puerto Rico Area Champion, defeating Vega Baja in back-to-back games on Sunday, July 3, to earn the nation’s first direct entry into Little League Baseball.® World Series (LLBWS) as part of expanded support starting in August.
Amelia Guaynabo Baseball Little League lost a hard-fought 2-0 game to Vega Baja earlier in the region’s tournament but managed to turn the tables on the championship on Sunday, finishing with a 5-1 record to win the title and punch their ticket to represent Puerto Rico at 75e Anniversary of the Little League Baseball World Series.
Puerto Rico Region LLB Tournament
Although this is Amelia Guaynabo Little League Baseball‘s first-ever trip, it is the 11e Appearance of the LLBWS for Puerto Rico, dating back to the country’s first LLBWS in 1959. Puerto Rico’s most recent team to play in Williamsport was 2018 Caribbean Region Champion Radames Lopez Little League (Guayama, Puerto Rico ). The Puerto Rican team lost their first game of the tournament before going on to win three straight and were eventually eliminated by Japan in the international semi-finals. Puerto Rico’s best tournament run came in the 1999 LLBWS, where little league Juan A. Bibiloni (Yabucoa, Puerto Rico) went 3-1, with its only loss to Japan in the international championship game .
The 2019 decision to expand the LLBWS allows two more international teams to gain direct entry on a three-year rotation based on league and player participation. The randomly chosen rotation grants direct entry to Puerto Rico in 2022 alongside Panama and in 2024 with Cuba. In 2023, teams from Puerto Rico will compete for a spot in Williamsport as part of the Caribbean region tournament.
With first-round matchups for the 2022 LLBWS Series, Guaynabo Little League Baseball will face the Mexico Region winner in Game 7 on Thursday, August 18 at 5 p.m. at Volunteer Stadium.
Little League International will celebrate the 75e Anniversary of the LLBWS this year and will be celebrating the history of the iconic event throughout the summer ahead of this year’s World Series in August. More information on the 2022 Little League World Series tournaments, including full schedules and downloadable materials, can be found at LittleLeague.org/WorldSeries.