Ewa Beach topples Kihei 8-1 in final
WAILUKU – For the Ewa Beach Little League All-Stars, Monday was a little bit of redemption at Maehara Stadium. For Kihei, it was a taste of what might lie ahead.
Ewa Beach bounced back from a short stay on Maui for the Pony state tournament a week and a half ago. On Monday, the Oahu team scored an 8-1 win over Kihei to claim the Little League Junior (13-14) Division State Tournament crown.
“We came out here with a little chip on our shoulders,” Ewa Beach coach Dan Kaslow said. “We had some victories slip away from us before and we came back out harder this time. We were more focused and we came out successful.”
Ewa Beach advances to the Little League Junior Division West Regional in Vancouver, Wash., that begins July 29.
Jace Borja led the way for the Oahu nine on the mound and at the plate. He pitched five innings, allowing three hits, one run with one walk and one strikeout. Borja batted 2-for-4, including a double, a triple and four RBIs – his second-inning, three-run double gave Ewa Beach a 5-0 lead.
Hunter Breault pitched two hitless innings to finish the victory.
“We came out here for a Pony tournament about two weeks ago and some of the local teams took it to us, so we had to wake up our bats a little bit,” Kaslow said. “We did so this time around.”
Borja was the player who got the call to pitch on Monday.
“We have about 10 pitchers who are absolutely solid,” Kaslow said. “We have a lot of good pitching and that’s what you need in Little League to be successful. Our bats today and all week have been awesome, too, but our pitching has been stellar.”
Kaslow was impressed with a young Kihei team.
“Great kids, hard battlers, I know they are a young team,” Kaslow said. “I expect them to be back next year in this division and I think they are going to be successful.”
Shane Shimizu was 3-for-4 and knocked in one of two runs that Ewa Beach scored in the third to take an 8-0 advantage.
Kihei answered with its run in the top of the fourth, scoring on Ewa Beach’s only error of the game. Jyrah Lalim pitched five innings of relief and Cyrus Guerpo had two of Kihei’s three hits, including a double.
“They are bigger than us,” Kihei manager Chris Barrozo said. “They have a solid defense, they are a good team. I’m proud of the way our guys battled to get this far. From what I heard, this is the farthest Kihei has ever been in the Junior Division. We coaches here in summer ball, we just want to get them ready for the next level.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
Lopaka Cabanilla-Aricayos, Jyrah Lalim (2) and Sale Ioakimi; Jace Borja, Hunter Breault (6) and Todd Takahama Jr. W-Borja. L-Cabanilla-Aricayos. 2B-Kihei: Cyrus Guerpo; Ewa Beach: Borja. 3B-Ewa Beach: Borja.
Leading hitters-Kihei: Guerpo 2-3. Ewa Beach: Borja 2-4, run, 4 RBIs; Shane Shimizu 3-4, 2 runs, RBI.