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Little League stars secure trip to Cooperstown

For the second time in as many years, two Medford youths have been selected to play on an Oregon all-star team that will tour the East Coast and play in a major tournament at Cooperstown, N.Y.

Shaun Whitehead and Kyle Treadway will join a dozen other 12-year-old players from around the state late this month for the eighth annual National Invitational Tournament of Champions.

Last summer, Matt Maurer and Colin Sowers became the first local players in six years to earn berths to the tournament.

Greg Ireland, director of the Metro Baseball Academy in Portland, put together the Oregon squad. He chose Whitehead, an eighth-grader-to-be at Hedrick Middle School, and Treadway, an eighth-grader-to-be at Phoenix Middle School, after watching them perform at a tournament in Bend.

The Oregon contingent will visit the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown prior to the tournament's opening ceremonies on Aug. 27. The eight-day, 64-team event begins the following day.

— Whitehead, a pitcher and catcher, led his Medford American Little League team ' the Dodgers ' to a 16-0 record this past season.

I can't wait to see the competition back there, Whitehead said. Plus, it's going to be fun using Babe Ruth rules, where we can lead off and use big-barreled bats.

Treadway, a 5-foot-7, 160-pound catcher, first baseman and pitcher, has batted over .600 this summer while competing for Phoenix-Talent Little League, Upper Rogue Cal Ripken and all-star squads. He's struck out just seven times in 55 games.

To help defray costs of the trip, the families of the two boys are selling &

36;10 raffle tickets for a basketball signed by John Wooden, a baseball signed by Willie McCovey, a pontoon boat and a three-day, two-night stay at the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, Ariz.

To purchase a ticket, call Bob Treadway at 301-1989.

Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail Little League stars secure trip to Cooperstown"dhunt@mailtribune.com.