Maui secured the top seed from its pool with a 15-1, five-inning win over the host team during the Little League Big League (15-18) Western Regional in Bremerton, Wash., on Friday.
Maui finished pool play 3-1, the same record as Thousand Oaks, Calif., which also advanced to today's semifinals. The championship game will also be played today with the winner advancing to the Big League World Series in Easley, S.C., beginning Tuesday.
Maui will play the Oregon representative in the semifinals, while Thousand Oaks will face Northern California.
Maui’s David Rapanot follows through on a home run during a 15-1, five-inning victory over Bremerton, Wash., in the Little League Big League (15-18) Western Regional on Friday.
MASAYO SUTTON photo
Maui and Thousand Oaks split two meetings in pool play with each team winning by one run.
"The tie-breaker is runs given up divided by innings played - we knew we could only give up one run today to get the No. 1 seed," Maui manager Steve Leis said. "We gave up a run in the first inning, so we were kind of on pins and needles after that, but the kids got it done."
Maui coach Kelly Flier added, "These kids play hard every play, every pitch."
Patrick Turner and Kaleb Palmer combined on a one-hitter against Bremerton. Palmer pitched 3 1/3 shutout innings on 33 pitches, leaving him and Turner available for today.
David Rapanot was 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs and two RBIs, while Isaiah Maddela, Callen Beeson and Kaiamana Ancog all had two hits for Maui. Beeson had a double and triple, Ancog had a triple, while Noah Apolo and Nick Asuncion each had doubles.
Maui has every pitcher on its roster available today except for Josh Nobriga, who pitched five innings Thursday against Thousand Oaks.
Fliear said Sammy Sutton is the likely starter in today's semifinals.
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Patrick Turner, Kaleb Palmer (2) and Makana Victorine; Lewis Garret, John Ellis (4) and Sam Dille. 2B-Maui: Callen Beeson, Noah Apolo, Nick Asuncion. 3B-Maui: Beeson, Kaimana Ancog. HR-Maui: David Rapanot.
Leading hitters-Maui: Rapanot 3-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs; Isaiah Maddela 2-3, 3 runs; Beeson 2-5; Ancog 2-4.