Kellen Aquino put the icing on a 4-0 Lihu‘e 1 victory with an in-the-park home run, Sunday, at Vindinha Stadium.
Aquino’s shot that dropped above the outstretched reach of the Hanapepe Cubs right fielder sealed the Kaua‘i Pony baseball league title for the Lihu‘e 1 team coached by Bobby Texeira.
If Hanapepe had won this game, there would have been another game played Wednesday, but the hard-hitting Cubs fell short despite out-hitting Lihu‘e 1, 5-3.
Hanapepe third baseman Chase Parongao paced the Cubs’ hitting with two singles in three appearances in the batter’s box. Other Hanapepe hitters included Mana Alquiza singling in the first inning, Niko Delos Reyes singling past shortstop in the third and pitcher Shylen Keuma doubling in the fifth frame.
Keuma also waged a strong war from the mound, going the distance for the loss. He finished with two strike outs, gave up three hits and walked just one batter, an intentional to Travis Koga.
That walk was one that came back to bite the Cubs as Keuma had a no-hitter going up until the fourth inning when Lihu‘e short stop Hank Ibia Jr. got life at first when the Cubs catcher couldn’t field the third strike ball.
Austin Oshiro, switch hitting, sacrificed to advance Ibia and Travis drew the intentional walk.
With Lihu‘e pitcher Jensen Koga in the box, Ibia crossed the plate on a Cubs error followed by Travis crossing on a Jensen RBI triple.
Kellen Aquino (2-3) moved Jensen home on an RBI single. Aquino finished the day with his ITP homer in the sixth inning for the win.
Jensen picked up the win on the mound with no runs allowed on five Hanapepe hits. He also walked one batter, but struck out eight Cubs batters.
With the win, Kaua‘i Pony Baseball official Dondi Viquelia said voting will take place for a Kaua‘i All-Star team which will represent the island at the state Pony tournament which will be July 4-8 on the Big Island.
The next action will be the opening game of the Bronco Kaua‘i Section. It starts at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, at the Koloa Ball Park.
The Lihu‘e All Stars will battle the West Kaua‘i All Stars in a best-of-three series. Second game will start at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, at the Lihu‘e County Park.
If a third game is necessary, it will be played at 10 a.m., Saturday, at a site to be determined by a coin flip Thursday.