KAPAA — The Central Maui Majors All Stars needed a win to advance to the finals of the Hawaii Little League State tournament Monday at the Main Diamond in Kapaa.
Facing a 4-1 deficit, Maui knotted the game against the Kaneohe Majors All Stars on a 3-run homer from Wehiwa Aloy, his second of the game, in the fifth inning.
Wehiwa was done yet. In the sixth inning with one out, Wehiwa was looking at an intentional walk. On the second pitch, the No. 3 batter in the lineup reached up and conked a high bunt. The play was not expected and the quick runner beat the throw to first base, but not before moving Makane Honokaupu and Keoni Painter across the plate for the 6-4 win.
“That’s how to find a way to get things done,” said Maui coach Jamie Aloy following Wehiwa’s second home run to deadlock the game 4-4. “That’s getting it done.”
Wehiwa opened the books early, conking a solo home run for the 1-0 bulge that was promptly answered when Kaneohe pushed two runs, Makamae Dupont and Cody Kashimoto, each hitting singles on a Kainoa Preston 2-RBI single for the 2-1 go-ahead on three hits in the opening frame.
Kaneohe added two more runs in the second inning when Dupont whacked into a 2-RBI double sending Blaze Smith, who got on base by a hit by pitch, and Cameron Holt, drawing a walk, across the plate for the 4-1 lead that stood until the fifth inning.
“We work on getting things done at practice,” Aloy said. “That bunt was not something we practiced. It is something the boys need to prepare for, to think of things impossible to get things done. The play was Wehiwa’s idea. These days, bunts are not commonplace, but the boys gotta believe in getting things done. Wehiwa was the difference in hitting and scoring today.”
Maui claimed the victory on 12 hits after being rained out Sunday.
“Matt Danae, our pitcher, threw a great complete game,” Aloy said. “But after being rained out, it can have a psychological effect on you. I spoke with him this morning and he seemed fine.”
Danae went the distance on the mound, holding Kaneohe to four runs on four hits and striking out five batters. He walked two batters and hit one with a pitch in his complete-game victory.
“I didn’t think I was going the complete game,” Danae said. “I thought I was going to start and get pulled if I made mistakes. At one point, I was nervous. But I turned to my breathing and settled down. I got into a good rhythm and closed out the fifth with a double play and fly ball. The sixth inning was good with two strikeouts.”
Wehiwa topped the Maui hitting with four RBI, on two homeruns and a bunt single.
“I was just waiting to put something into play,” Wehiwa said. “The first two homeruns? The pitcher made mistakes and I just jumped on it.”
Keoni Painter finished with two doubles and a single, Levi Maddela and Danae had two singles apiece, and Andrew Teruya singled.
Dupont led the Kaneohe hitting with two singles and two RBI, Kashimoto doubled, and Preston singled with two RBI.
Central Maui will face the winner of the Honolulu-Kaneohe matchup for the Hawaii Little League state title starting at 10 a.m. at the Main Diamond. A second game starting at 1 p.m. is on the books, if needed.