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Nanakuli comes up short in Little League West Regional

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Star-Advertiser staff

Nanakuli was in the middle of a rally in today’s Little League World Series Western Regional at Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif., when an appeal play at third base cut it short. The result was a 7-5 victory for Northern California and a trip to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Starting pitcher Jaylen Gonzales gave Nanakuli an early 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the top of the first.

Logan Douglas answered with a two-run homer and Kempton Brandis hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the inning to give the  Petaluma squad a 3-2 lead.

Two errors in the top of the second allowed Nanakuli to retake the lead at 4-3.

Hawaii loaded the bases with one out in the fourth but Andrew Wright recorded a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning without allowing a run.

Petaluma loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth before Gonzalez recorded his third strikeout of the game.

Brandis followed with an infield single to tie the game at 4-all and end Gonzales’ day.

Gonzales allowed seven hits and five walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Braedyn Chong, making his third appearance in the regional, replaced Gonzales and threw a wild pitch to allow Northern California to take a 5-4 lead.

Hance Smith added an RBI single to center but Nanakuli catcher Kyler Stephens threw out a runner at third for the second out.

Petaluma ended the inning ahead 7-4 after scoring on a double-steal attempt.

Nanakuli added what it thought was two more runs in the top of the sixth on a misplayed fly ball by the Northern California left fielder. Nanakuli thought the score was 7-6 with a man on second, but an appeal play that the second baserunner missed the third-base bag was upheld and the game was over.

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