Kawaihau coming home Sunday

Kawaihau Intermediate 50/70 baseball team closed its appearance at the Little League Intermediate 50/70 Baseball World Series on a winning note, beating Europe-Africa, 11-0, in its final game of the series.

Kaimi Malina went the distance for Kawaihau, holding Europe-Africa to just five hits over 96 pitches. During his mound appearance, Kaimi whiffed 11 batters while walking just one.

“Kaimi is the only pitcher to go the distance in a shutout at the World Series,” said Kawaihau head coach Justin Malina in a phone interview following the victory. “There were other pitchers throwing shutout games, but Kaimi is the only one who went the full distance.”

Kaimi was not the only one making waves in Livermore, California’s Max Baer field where the World Series was played.

“Against New York, Noa (Kainoa) Cardinez had an in-the-park homer,” Coach Justin said. “Noa finished the World Series with a .700 batting average, hitting 7-for-10. That’s damned good, and any coach would be happy with that kind of performance.”

Against Europe-Africa on Tuesday, Cardinez punched four hits with one RBI.

Top bat for Kawaihau, who chalked up 17 hits against Europe, went to Levi Cummings who had three RBI on his one hit. Aaron Vicente also marked an RBI in the victory that went the distance with Kawaihau pushing three runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings and topping the victory with two runs in the seventh.

“We had good pitching in the first two games where we lost,” Justin said. “We were playing the best of the best, and unfortunately, our boys didn’t quite step up to that. But they played one hell of a game — we’re proud of what they did.”

The coach said Kawaihau players were hitting the ball in the matches against Central and East, but the defense was going right to the balls.

“They earned all of the runs they scored,” Malina said. “Our boys didn’t give up anything.”

With the completion of their games in the Intermediate World Series, Justin said “the boys are now having the time of their lives.”

The team returns Sunday, arriving at the Lihue Airport at 7:15 p.m.

“Let the people know,” Justin said. “These boys did a great job. Now, everybody knows where Kawaihau is.”


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