It’s been a whirlwind for the Mid-East Maui Little League All-Stars for the past 48 hours.
A team of 13 players from four different Maui schools won the Little League Intermediate (12-13) 50/70 West Regional in Nogales, Arizona on Thursday night. They beat Southern California champion Laguna Beach Little League 12-8 in the title game.
Soon after, the boys from Maui were being escorted by police around the US-Mexico border town as regional champions. They checked into their hotel in Livermore, Calif., on Friday for the 50/70 World Series, which begins Sunday.
“Oh, it’s one of the greatest things in my life, you know, for these guys to have an opportunity,” Maui manager Chris Kish made the announcement by phone Friday. “We almost didn’t even have a team to put together to go to the state tournament. It was pretty last-minute, so when the other coaches and I came in and were able to put the roster together, it’s kind of ironic how amazing it worked out.”
The team includes players from St. Anthony, Kamehameha Maui, Iao and Maui Waena.
“All the boys have really gelled since the first practice,” Kish said. “It’s a wide variety of guys from different teams that have come together. The caliber of talent is really solid.”
CEMLL took the lead early in the championship game, scoring a run in the first inning on an RBI single by Marcus Mamuad. Maui scored six runs in the sixth inning on RBIs from Malu Rosag, Isaac Gosselin, Jayden Perry-Waikiki and Mamuado.
Mamuad, Perry-Waikiki, Koltyn Sergent, Riley Phillips and Kaniela Belena each had two hits to pace a 14-hit Maui offense in the final.
Alika Kish, George Dafun, Teyvon Kahalewai, Kekoa Brown, Kapono Easley and Nainoa Haban complete the roster.
Chris Kish is assisted by coaches Koa Brown and Joseph Gosselin.
Maui won the intermediate world crown in 2016 and reached the semi-finals a year later.
Maui opens play in the Intermediate World Series on Sunday at 9 a.m. HST against East Region winner Toms River (NJ) East.
There are six regional champions from the United States and six international regional champions in the World Series, which ends with the championship game on August 7th – this game will be televised on ESPN2 at 3pm HST. Most other games will be streamed on ESPN+.
The Central East Maui 50/70 team joins their senior league counterparts on the World Series stage. The CEM Seniors (15-16), who clinched their spot on Wednesday, will begin play in the Senior League World Series today at 4:00 HST in Easley, SC against Fleet Park (Va.) in the tournament opener.
All SLWS games will be available on ESPN+ except for the finals, which will air on ESPN on August 6 at 10:00 a.m. HST.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
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