Kalawai hosting MLK baseball tournament

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Michael Linnell, president of the Kalawai Youth Baseball Club, coaches Christian Domingues, Ryan dela Pena and players from the Kalawai Dodgers and Yankees stop practice to invite the public to its Seventh Annual Martin Luther King baseball tournament that starts Saturday at the Kalawai Park.

KALAHEO — There will be a lot of youth baseball taking place starting Saturday morning when the Kalawai Youth Baseball Club opens its Seventh Annual Martin Luther King Pinto Goodwill Tournament at Kalawai Park.

The three Kalawai baseball teams — Kalawai Dodgers, Kalawai Yankees, and Kalawai White Sox — will play host to a total of 22 teams from around the island as well as six teams from Oahu.

“This is larger than last year’s tournament by two teams, one new team from Kauai, and one additional team from Oahu,” said Michael Linnell, president of the Kalawai Youth Baseball Club.

The teams are made up of young players from 6 to 9 year olds, and will play from 8 a.m. with the last game of each day starting around 5 p.m. A home run derby is scheduled for Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m., and food booth and concession stands with tournament gear will be available.

“The best thing about this tournament is the kids get so much playing time, practice, and the experience of playing in a large tournament,” said Kalawai coach Christian Domingues. “A lot of teams on Kauai don’t have a chance to scrimmage with each other. This is the one time in the year when teams from all the different leagues like Cal Ripken, PONY baseball, and Little League can come together and play and learn from each other.”

The tournament will spread over four fields, centered around the Pinto field. Contests will also take place on the Bronco field, the practice field, and a specially-created court mid-park.

Jai Domingues, an infielder for one of the Kalawai teams, remembers how great the tournament was, and meeting new kids.

Proceeds from the tournament concessions help cover the expense of the three-day tournament that is estimated to draw more than 250 players and their families. Proceeds also help the Kalawai Youth Baseball Club with its program for players ages 4 through 17 years old.

In addition to the three host Kalawai teams, participating teams include from Oahu, the Mililani Brewers, Alliance, Balls Rolling, Touchdown, Manoa Pirates, and GRIT.

Kauai teams includ the Kapaa Kryptonite, Lihue Dodgers, Lihue Brewers, Lihue Tigers, Lihue Angels, Lihue Indians, the Koloa Diamondbacks, Kapaa, the Hanapepe Cubs Silver, the Hanapepe Cubs Blue, the Hanapepe Cubs Black, the Waimea Blue Jays, and the Kekaha Angels.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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