Asia-Pacific Region Champion
Chinese Taipei returns to Taylor for the sixth year in a row. The same junior high school that won the World Series last year - Chung Shan in Tai Chung City - has qualified to play in Taylor again after winning the Asia-Pacific Region in Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In the regional tournament, Chinese Taipei went undefeated against the national champions of Australia, Saipan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Guam. Teams from Chinese Taipei have won the Junior League World Series (JLWS) in 2010, 2013, and 2014.
Latin American Region Champion
The Aguadulce Cabezera Little League, which hosted the Latin America Regional in Panama, debuts in the World Series. The host team went 4-0 in pool play, defeating the national champions of Mexico, Colombia, Aruba and Guatemala. They ousted Curacao, 7-6, in the semifinals and then defeated Mexico in a rematch, 8-6. The national champs of Venezuela, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Panama (Parque Lefevre), Nicaragua and Costa Rica also were part of the 11-team region. This will be Panama’s fourth appearance in Taylor. A team from Panama City won the World Series in 2005.
Europe-Africa Region Champion
A team from Brno, Czech Republic, returns to the JLWS for the third year in a row as Europe-Africa regional champion. The Czech boys won the 10-nation Europe-Africa tournament in Kutno, Poland. Brno defeated the national champions of Poland, Austria, Netherlands, Uganda and Italy to set up a championship game with Uganda, which had one loss and could not afford a second in the double-elimination format. Czech Republic was shutout in the first game, 10-0, but rallied to win the rematch, 7-3. This will be the fourth appearance in Taylor for a Czech Republic team, the first coming in 1997.
Puerto Rico National Champion
Due to the popularity of baseball in Puerto Rico and Mexico, the national champions of the two countries alternate automatic berths in the JLWS. This year, it’s Puerto Rico’s turn, with the Villa Blanca Boys and Girls Baseball League in Caguas winning the national title. This will be the 24th time a Puerto Rico champion plays in Taylor, but the first appearance by an all-star team from Caguas. Teams from Puerto Rico have won the World Series five times, in 1983, 1989, 1990, 1993 and 1999. By the way, even though Mexico didn’t receive an automatic berth this year, the national champions competed in the Latin America Regional Tournament, won by Panama.
Canada National Champion
The Ontario provincial champion from the Oakville Little League went on to win the Canadian National Tournament to qualify for the Junior League World Series in Taylor. The nationals started slow for the boys from Oakville, which opened with a 2-1 loss to Surrey, British Columbia, but then they won seven straight games, including a 15-3 victory in the title game over Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. The seven-team region also included the provincial champions of Alberta, Quebec and Saskatchewan, plus a host team. This is the sixth appearance in the JLWS by a team from Ontario - the first since 2006. It is Oakville’s first appearance in Taylor. Oakville is located midway between Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario - about a 3.5-hour drive to Taylor - the closest of all 2015 World Series teams.