LAS VEGAS — The Islanders Baseball Kauai team returned with the championship pennant from the United States Specialty Sports Association Red, White &Blue Premier tournament that wrapped up Feb. 18 presented by Vegas Vally Baseball in Las Vegas.
“Seeded last, and going on to win the championship?” said Tracie Sakamoto, a team mother. “What an awesome experience and accomplishment for these boys coming from Kauai playing in temperatures in the 30- to 40-degree range. These boys were determined and battled to stay in it to the end.”
The Utah Elite held the top seed for the 13U AAA bracket while the Islanders BK entered the tournament with the last seed.
Facing a six-game schedule spread over three days, the Islanders BK, as they were known during the tournament for 13-and-under players in the AAA bracket, suffered a loss that came at the hands of Utah Elite, 13-4, at the fields in Henderson, Nevada during the opening day Feb. 16.
Earlier in the day, the Islanders BK opened with an 11-2 win over the Arizona Athletics Orange before facing the Utah Elite.
Strapped with the 1-1 record, the Islanders BK went on to split the Feb. 17 twin bill, defeating the UA Hooligans-Kauffman on an 18-2 win before dropping to 2-2 after being rolled over by the Golden Spikes Pirates, 16-7, at the Big League Dreams all-turf field. The Pirates were ranked No. 1 in Las Vegas.
The opening pool play on the first two days of the tournament saw the Islanders BK enter the single-elimination championship bracket with a 2-2 record in the semifinals where they redeemed their earlier loss to Utah Elite with a 12-4 victory to advance to the “championSHIP” at Wells Park in Henderson.
The Islanders BK took the Braves Baseball squad from Chicago, 5-3, to claim the title of the 13U division in the Red, White &Blue Premier Tournament.
The Islanders Baseball Kauai includes players Blake Braun, Makoa Chjong, Jacob Danley, Xailer Duarte, Qyrin Ibaan, Kameron Lee, Kahiapo Kuhaulua-Leong, Chestyn “Bob” Manintin, Andrew Sadamitsu, Ryant Sakamoto, Radon Sebastian, Brayden Toguchi, Rylan Yamaguchi and Shayden Yamaguchi.
Coaches are Burke Braun, Curtis Sadamitsu, Branden Toguchi and Yama Yamaguchi.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.