Maui loses World Series opener
The Central East Maui Little League All-Stars lost their opening game in the Senior League (15-16) World Series on Sunday in Bangor, Maine, falling 5-1 to Dumfries (Va.).
Dumfries scored all its runs in the top of the seventh inning.
A single by Maui’s Rylie Velez drove in the first run of the game in the fourth inning, scoring Shadd Santos. Velez also had a double, and Maui, the U.S. West regional champion, finished with five hits.
“They are not that down,” Maui manager Lee Kashiwamura said of his players. “I mean, they have played from behind in a few big games, so this is nothing new. Just bounce back and win the rest. We’ll bounce back. I have got confidence in these kids.”
Maui committed four errors.
“I thought we were going to pull it out,” Kashiwamura said. “Usually our defense is solid. I mean, defense wins championships, but we had a few little errors here and there.”
Maui’s Linden Kanamu sailed through the first six innings, allowing two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks against the Southeast U.S. champions before giving up all five runs in the seventh.
Kanamu finished with eight strikeouts while allowing eight hits with no walks in 6 2/3 innings.
Michael Nickles picked up the win by going the final three innings, allowing one hit, striking out one and walking none.
Central East Maui will play the second of its four pool games today against the Canada champions from Regina, Saskatchewan.
Akoni Hamilton-Golis is scheduled to pitch against Canada.
“We have a lot of faith in Akoni,” Kashiwamura said.
The semifinals are on Friday, and the championship game, scheduled for 8 a.m. HST on Saturday, will be shown live on ESPNU.
Matthew Nickles, Michael Nickles (5) and Thomas Thorgersen; Linden Kanamu, Cade Echevary (7) and Orion Miyasato-Farias. W-Mi. Nickles. L-Kanamu. 2B-Central East Maui: Rylie Velez.
Leading hitters Dumfries, Va.: Michael Morrissey 2-3, run; Mi. Nickles 2-3; Central East Maui: Velez 2-3, RBI.