KAPAA — Kaneohe pitcher Keli‘i Makaio Kalai IV jumped up and down and flayed his arms as Kawaihau hitter Tyrus Haumea rounded the pads with a grand slam in the fourth inning Tuesday.
Makaio Kalai had just replaced pitcher Luke Uechi on the mound and reacted after giving up the grand slam at the title match for the Hawaii Little League District 1. Kawaihau Majors All Stars followed the 4-run homer with a solo shot by Chet Pimsaguan to wrap up a 26-1 win over Kaneohe for the District 1 pennant in front of an appreciative home town crowd that blasted air horns in celebration for the out-of-the-park hits.
With the win, Kawaihau next prepares to participate in the Hawaii Little League Majors state tournament which will contest in Waialua, Oahu starting next Friday.
“This is where it all starts,” said Brandon Moises, a fan waiting outside the caged player area to congratulate the victorious team. “I have someone calling me from Maui, wanting updates on the game because they’ll be playing in the state tournament as well. Now, we just have to wait to congratulate the players.”
Kawaihau picked up the win behind 19 hits, including the grand slam from Haumea and the solo shot from Pimsaguan, while holding Kaneohe to just one run on one hit through four innings, the game shortened due to the 10-run ruling.
Anson Lazaro started on the mound and worked for three and one-third innings before being changed out by TJ Ka‘auwai, the pitcher who started for Kawaihau in its first outing Saturday against Kaneohe.
During his stint on the mound, Lazaro gave up no runs, no hits and walked two batters while striking out three. Ka‘auwai closed with Luke Uechi walking first for Kaneohe and scoring off an RBI single from Kai Sanehira — Kaneohe’s sole hit in the game. He went on to strike out two Kaneohe batters.
Haumea, in addition to his grand slam in the fourth inning, came up with a pair of singles and three RBIs in the second inning when Kawaihau notched 12 runs on 10 hits. Pimsaguan, in addition to his solo homer in the fourth, hit a two-RBI double in the second inning. Aukai Emayo also hit a 2-RBI double in the second to round out the hitting leaders.