WEST OAHU WINS LITTLE
LEAGUE WORLD SERIES OPENER
West Oahu's Michael Memea, right, of Ewa Beach trotted past Council Rock-Newtown's Ryan Hartley, left, after hitting a three-run home run off Newtown pitcher Keith Terry Jr. in the third inning of yesterday's Little League World Series opener in South Williamsport, Pa. West Oahu, which had outscored opponents 87-19 going into the game, won 7-1.
Ewa Beach’s West Oahu baseball
team sticks to its formula, beating
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. » Williamsport is a long way from Ewa Beach, but that has not kept the West Oahu baseball team from making itself at home at the Little League World Series.
West Oahu, the ninth Hawaii team to reach the Little League World Series, got comfortable at Lamade Stadium yesterday by jumping out to an early lead and rolled to a 7-1 win over Council Rock-Newtown of Pennsylvania in the opening game of the tournament.
"I guess we were kind of nervous, but we just play West Oahu baseball like we do every time at home," West Oahu manager Layton Aliviado said in the postgame press conference. "We said, 'We come over here, play the same ball and see what happens.' We don't change anything. Everything we do is the same."
West Oahu continues pool play tomorrow against Davenport Northwest (Iowa). The game will be televised on ESPN at 9 a.m. Hawaii time.
West Oahu had outscored its opponents 87-19 coming into the game and calmed its nerves by scoring four runs in the top of the first inning on two home runs.
Alaka'i Aglipay's two-run homer just cleared the left-field foul pole to give West Oahu a 2-0 lead. Three batters later, Vonn Fe'ao followed with another two-run homer to left off Council Rock-Newtown starter Keith Terry Jr.
"I was just looking for the right pitch," Aglipay said. "It came to me and I took it deep."
West Oahu extended its lead to 7-1 on Michael Memea's three-run homer to center field in the third.
"Usually, we don't think of home runs. We just hit hard, hit it in the gaps, and if the home run comes, it comes," Aliviado said.
The players waved to the crowd Thursday as they rode on a flatbed trailer during the Williamsport Grand Slam Parade.
Council Rock-Newtown managed four hits off four West Oahu pitchers.
Aglipay, who tossed a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts to help West Oahu win the Northwest Regional championship on Monday, was pulled after pitching a scoreless first inning.
Left-hander Quentin Guevara allowed one run in three innings and picked up the win. Fe'ao and Myron Enos closed out the game with one inning each of scoreless relief.
Daniel Denton scored the only run for Council Rock-Newtown, the Mid-Atlantic champs, with a second-inning homer.
"It was by design," Aliviado said of using multiple pitchers in the opener. "We're trying to figure out how many games we get, what pitchers we'll use and how we can use them."
Aliviado said he had not decided who would start against Davenport, which lost to Maitland (Fla.) 7-3 in its opener yesterday.
It was the first loss this season for Council Rock-Newtown, the Mid-Atlantic region champs.
"I think there was a real lot of butterflies. It wasn't the way they normally play," Council Rock-Newtown manager Bill Hartley said. "I think the whole atmosphere caught them up a little bit."
Hartley's son, Ryan, was hit by a pitch while trying to fake a bunt in the fifth inning.
The pitch hit a knuckle on his right hand. He was removed from the game and taken for X-rays after the knuckle swelled to the size of a golf ball, Hartley said.
Ryan Hartley was initially awarded first base. But Aliviado asked an umpire if Hartley was swinging on the play. The umpire agreed, and the pitch was called a strike instead, so Hartley was called back to the plate. He was unable to grip a bat and was pulled from the game for a pinch hitter.
"It's a big blow," Bill Hartley said. "Every kid who gets here wants to play in the World Series."
West Oahu pitcher Quentin Guevara delivered a pitch during the second inning of yesterday's game.