CEM Intermediates use huge seventh-inning rally to win at regionals

The Maui News

The Central East Maui All-Stars rallied for nine runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to stun Alaska’s Abbott O Rabbit 21-20 in the Little League Intermediate 50/70 West Regional on Sunday in Nogales, Ariz.

The teams traded blows throughout the game, with the teams combining for 37 hits. Abbott appeared to have the upper-hand as they scored four runs in the top of the seventh to take a 20-12 lead with just three outs remaining. But Central, coming off a 16-13 win over host Nogales on Saturday, responded with their massive rally, scoring all their final-inning runs without recording an out in the frame.

Ziah Chang started the rally with his RBI double that followed the first of six walks issued by Abbott in the inning. Jevon Raboy smacked a two-run single, Nari Dumlao scored on a wild pitch and Drechen Perreira followed with a run-scoring single. Alex Zaragoza plated two more runs with a double before Brysen Molina drove in Zaragoza for the tying run, and after Chang walked to load the bases, Dawson Nuese hit a walk-off single to center for the win.

CEM wrapped up a 3-1 record in pool play and will play in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

On Saturday, the Central East Maui Seniors (15-16) All-Stars improve to 2-0 at their regional in Sacramento, Calif., with a 10-0, five-inning win over North Natomas, the Northern California representative.

Makane Honokaupu went 3-for-4 at the plate — including two doubles — with two runs and two RBIs to lead CEM. In the bottom of the fifth inning, he scored on an error and Isiah Kekahuna-Hernandez scored on a passed ball to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule

Central starter Ben Zeigler-Namoa allowed five hits with no walks while striking out four over four innings, while Lee Souza threw a perfect fifth to complete the shutout. Zeigler-Namoa also hit an RBI double.

CEM will next take on Sunnyside, Ariz., today with a berth in the regional final on the line.

On the Big Island, the Central East Maui Majors (11-12) All-Stars edged Honolulu 7-6 on Sunday to improve to 2-0 at the state tournament.

Down 6-5, Central got a two-run homer from Jaren Pascual in the fourth to take the lead for good.