Lihu‘e Broncos come close, fall to Hilo-Black 4-1

There was just the Lihu‘e Bronco All Stars fighting for the Regional Protect Our Nation’s Youth title at the Walter Victor Stadium in Hilo, Hawai‘i, Sunday.

But when the dust settled, the Lihu‘e Broncos dropped the Regional title 4-1 to Hilo-Black, the same team which handed the Lihu‘e squad its first loss, 6-3, Saturday.

Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, Monday against KAC, the Lihu‘e Broncos squeaked to a 10-9 edge as the KAC pitcher walked the winning run on a bases-loaded situation.

The victory put Lihu‘e Broncos up against Hilo-Black for the Regional title. According to Andrea Franier, TGI writer who is with the team in Hilo, this is the farthest a Kaua‘i Bronco team has made it in the PONY Regionals.

Earlier, the Lihu‘e Broncos were down three runs against Aiea, Saturday afternoon, heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, according to an email from Andrea Franier,  a TGI writer who is with the team in Hilo.

Patrick Esteban lit the spark for the seventh inning rally, singling to get aboard.

Aaron Renaud walked to first and Jared Killeen, the Broncos’ first baseman, doubled down the left field line, scoring Esteban and Renaud for a one-run deficit.

Gunner Vallatini bunt singled with Brayden Abreu repeating the bunt single, but getting an RBI as Killeen crossed to knot the contest.

Keala Iwasaki was walked intentionally and Doug Miyasato, holding for two strikes, roped a single over the center fielder’s head for the win.

During the Sunday double-header, Esteban, Killeen and Miyasato combined for strong performances on the mound, allowing just three hits, en route to Lihu‘e Broncos taking an 8-0 win over Hilo-Red.

Esteban helped himself in the batter’s box, connecting on a two-RBI double.

The Kaua‘i PONY All-Stars, taking a 4-1 win over Maui, Sunday afternoon, advanced to a Monday encounter with Aiea, states the PONY website.

Unfortunately, the Kaua‘i PONY All Stars were eliminated following a 4-3 loss leaving just the Lihu‘e Bronco All Stars in contention for the Regional title.

The Lihu‘e Mustang All Stars advanced through Sunday afternoon when it was eliminated following a 10-0 loss to Hilo-Host.

The winner of the Bronco Regional title advances to the PONY Zone tournament, July 29 through Aug. 1 in Whittier, Calif.

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