The Central East Maui baseball team will enjoy having a couple of days off as the local kids prepare for Saturday’s national championship game of the Little League World Series played in Williamsport, Pa.
All the West Region representative could do Thursday was practice by day and watch the matchup between the Southeast and Southwest teams by night in the ultimate elimination game. River Ridge of Louisiana, located outside of New Orleans, advanced through the tough Southeast region to make it to the United States final after no-hitting South Riding, Va., of the Southwest 10-0 Thursday night.
On the International side of the bracket, Japan faces Curacao, which on Thursday eliminated South Korea 5-3. That game starts Saturday at 6:30 a.m. Maui and Louisiana follow in a rematch at 9:30 a.m. The first time the two teams met, last Friday, the Wailuku lads prevailed 5-2.
Maui has the advantage of rested arms. Louisiana has the momentum of surviving the gauntlet of the losers’ bracket.
Maui coach Brad Lung told the Daily Item newspaper that he was pleased with how his kids handled Virginia’s pitching in Wednesday’s huge 12-9 victory and the fast start that got Maui going in the right direction.
“We were super happy with the way it started,” Lung said. “We were stressing with the kids the team had two no-hitters. They embraced the challenge. At practice we just kept working on making contact.”