Central East Maui did most of its damage in the opening inning en route to a 5-2 win over River Ridge of Louisiana in today’s opening round of the Little League World Series held in Williamsport, Pa.
The victory sends the West Region representative into the coveted winner’s bracket where CEM will face Mid-Atlantic on Sunday at 8 a.m. Hawaii time. The Wailuku Little League team rallied from an early deficit with a four-spot in the first as pitcher Jaren Pascual went the distance to get the victory. He struck out two and walked two while scattering nine hits. He also pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.
River Ridge broke out on top with a two-out run in the first. After starting pitcher Reece Roussel reached first on an error, he came around to score on an RBI single to left by Connor Perrot to make it 1-0. But that lead proved short-lived.
Much like their Southwest Region counterparts, the kids from Maui did all their damage in the first with two outs and it was extensive. It all began with a single to right by Pascual. An infield error and a hit batter by Roussel loaded the bases as Logan Kuloloia drove in the tying run by beating out an infield hit. That opened the floodgates. Nakea Kahalehau scored on a pass ball and Duke Aloy cleared the bases with a two-run single to give Central East Maui a 4-1 advantage after one.
The Louisiana team added a much-needed run in the fifth thanks in part to the poor play of the Maui outfield. A one-out single to left by Marshall Louque turned bad for Maui when left-fielder Kuloloia let the hard smash get past him for a two-base error that put Louque on third. He scored when CEM right-fielder Marley Sebastian slipped trying to field a routine fly by Gavin Berry that turned into an RBI double to make it 4-2.
Maui added a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out single to left by Kaleb Mathias that scored Kuloloia from second, who had a one-out single of his own to get things started. He moved to second on a single to center by Aloy as the bottom part of Maui’s order contributed in the win.
— Little League (@LittleLeague) August 16, 2019