LIHUE — Kawaihau Community Little League Coach Justin Malina said the Juniors team represents Kauai in the league dominated by Maui teams.
In the five divisions of Hawaii Little League, Maui clinched the Majors berth Tuesday with its 21-1 win over the Kaneohe Majors All Stars at the Main Diamond in Kapaa.
“The other divisions, the 50s 70s, the Seniors, and the Big Boys are all Maui teams,” Coach Malina said. “Kauai took the Juniors division last week with its win over Makakilo, twice, in Hilo at the state tournament. Of the Maui teams, two are already clinched for World Series berths.”
Kauai’s Juniors leave forVancouver, Washington to participate in the Little League West Regionals Aug. 2-10, the winner of that tournament advancing to the World Series in Michigan.
Wednesday, the team accepted congratulations and best wishes from the Kauai County Council before heading to the regional tournament.
“The Kawaihau Community Little League Juniors’ journey to success was truly a product of hard work and determination,” states the commendation certificate. “Under the superb coaching of Justin Malina, Mikey Cardinez and Aaron Cummings, each player learned that working together as a team was their biggest strength and that was the foundation which they built on.”
The Kawaihau Juniors beat Kaneohe in the best of a three-game series to claim the District 50 title and advance to the state tournament in Hilo.
Once there, the Kawaihau Juniors defeated ‘Aiea, 10-0 to open its state bid. They followed that with a 9-2 win over Makakilo, and in the title matchup, came from behind to get past Makakilo for the second time, 9-7 to earn the right to advance to the West Regionals.
Malina said with just days remaining before they leave, the team is involved in fundraising. On Thursday evening, the team, coaches and parents will be in front of the Safeway in the Kauai Village shopping center in Kapaa with fishnets from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. They return to the Kauai Village Safeway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday where the public is invited to come meet the team and help with its journey.
The team will be in front of the Safeway in the Hokulei Village shopping center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.
“We’ll see how this tournament goes,” Malina said. “Every team has the same 21 outs to make it happen.”