KAPA‘A — The Wailua Braves erupted for five runs in the fourth inning en route to an 9-0 shutout over the Hanama‘ulu Cardinals Saturday, clinching the Kawaihau Little League Majors championship for the second straight year.
Brentten Rapozo picked up the win on the mound and was one of three runs that crossed the plate on a key three-run double by Jakey Alves-Rapozo. Earl Thronas and Kekoa Alfiler also scored on the play.
Rapozo led the Braves’ from the mound and the plate, going 3-3 at with three runs scored and one RBI, driving in Austin Thronas in the fourth inning.
Alves-Rapozo finished the day 3-4 with two singles and the 3-RBI double.
Earl Thronas, who one grandmother in the stands described as “the home run king” was more or less held in check by the Cardinals, walking twice before allowing whacking a single and a double.
His fourth-inning single drove in Derek Yamane, and his two-out double in the fifth inning plated Rapozo for the final run of the contest.
Earl Thronas also scored twice and iced the victory by taking over for Rapozo on the hill.
The victory brings the Kawaihau Little League season to a close and marked the end to a perfect 12-0 season for the Cardinals.
Manager Richie Rapozo said the Cards took the Majors title in 2005, but finished that season 11-1. This year, the team’s first undefeated season was met with enthusiastic response from parents and relatives in the stands.
“I’ve been coaching these boys since they were 9 years old,” Rapozo said. “They have a lot of balance and depth.”
With the season now over, Rapozo said the board will meet to select an all-star team to travel to O‘ahu for the district title during the weekend of July 7.
“My boys, Earl and Austin Thronas, have been playing for Richie and Philip Rapozo for about four years now,” said Tracy Fu. “They have been to the all-star tournaments three years straight and they have loved every minute of playing baseball for the Rapozos.”
She said it’s hard enough trying to keep 12 boys in line, and imparting knowledge and training in a sport is quite a feat.
“My boys have learned to pitch, hit and have a good time,” she said. “A big thanks go out to all our coaches for making this an amazing season and a lifelong memory for our children.”
Rapozo did not work alone, though.
Mike Yamane, Scott Kaui, and Kalani Kaui rounded out the coaching staff.
In addition to Earl and Austin Thronas, Rapozo, Alves-Rapozo, Alfiler and Yamane, the Cardinals roster included Aron Nagao, Kaulana Kaui, Christian Rapozo, Darren Ornellas and Zavier Cummings.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com.