Kawaihau 57s bound for state tourney

KAPAA — The Hawaii Little League 57 designation is new for this year, said Kawaihau Little League coach Mikey Cardinez.

“It’s based on the base length distances,” coach Justin Malina said. “It would equate to our Bronco baseball that Kauai people are familiar with.”

The Kawaihau Little League will be fielding its International 57s all stars at the Hawaii Little League state tournament, which starts Friday on Oahu.

“We have 11 boys,” Malina said. “They’ve been playing with each other for some time, and about half of them were with the team who went to Las Vegas where they finished the tournament in second place overall.”

Justin said the Kawaihau team will be playing Makakilo at the state tournament.

“There’s only two teams in our level,” Malina said. “We have to beat them twice in the best of three format. If we get past Makakilo, we head to Arizona for the regionals which will take place starting July 20. If we can get past that step, it’s the Little League World Series in California starting Aug. 2. It’s just go-go-go.”

Keoua Sibayan feels the team is ready for the state tournament.

“We should have a good chance,” Sibayan said. “But the competition is really good.”

Malina said with baseball, you just never know.

“We have a 50-50 chance, which I think is really good,” he said. “But with baseball, you gotta play — the players have to show up.”

As the players and coaches tried their new uniforms for sizing, Kaimi Malina summed everything.

“The brotherhood doesn’t fall down,” he said.

Joining Justin Malina in the coaches box are Cardinez and Sterlyn Shimabukuro.

Players include Easton Luis, Aaron Vicente, Levi Cummings, Cole Frye, Isaac Nagahisa, Keilan Ibaan-McCarthy, Robin Dumlao, Trevor Kaui, Nainoa Cardinez, Kaimi Malina, and Keoua Sibayan.

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