The Aloha State All-Stars celebrate their state’s 46th
anniversary of statehood by moving to 2-0 in Pool A
The power of
the West Oahu Little Leaguers is a force to be reckoned
Three home runs from three different sluggers – two of
which made appearances on the mound – led the way for
the Northwest champs to clinch a berth in
single-elimination play. Hawaii (2-0) took another
victory in Pool A play, beating the Davenport Northwest
Little League (0-2) 7-3 in front of 6,425.
The fate of the Midwest champs was sealed by the bats of
the mighty West Oahu mites, who crushed back-to-back
home runs off Davenport starting pitcher Kyle Franklin
when he returned to the mound in the fourth, adding to
their 4-0 lead.
Vonn Fe’ao led off the inning by rocketing Franklin’s
offering well over the 205-foot left field wall, almost
clearing the chain link fence that borders Volunteer
In the second of two monster solo shots, right fielder
Quentin Guevara hit a nearly identical home run on the
very next pitch, bringing the Hawaii lead to 6-0.
“Yeah, I was surprised [I hit the ball that far],” said
But the modesty stopped there.
“Nah, not really,” Guevara, who went 2-for-2 with two
hits and two RBI, said of his own bomb. “I wasn’t.”
Franklin left the game after the two homers with none
out and none on, and Davenport skipper Jeff Mallonee
called on Luke Rodriguez for relief. Rodriguez gave up a
quick single before a passed ball and wild pitch put
Zachary Rosete on third. Rodriguez got out of trouble
and out of the inning by fanning Zachary Ranit with a
powerful fastball and getting West Oahu pitcher Myron
Enos to ground out to third.
But the real action came at the top of the sixth.
Down 7-0, Davenport’s Spencer Mallonee got the ball
rolling with his solo home run to center field off Enos.
After Ryan Shumaker struck out swinging, Chase Pfab drew
a walk. Franklin came to the plate and hit a single into
center field, sending Pfab toward home plate.
But as Pfab got caught in a pickle between third and
home, two consecutive, same-play throwing errors by
catcher Michael Memea and left fielder Ty Tirpak allowed
Iowa to put its second run on the board.
On the next batter, a ball four wild pitch to T.J. Meyer
scored Franklin, who had advanced to third in the chaos
of the previous play and cut the Hawaii lead to 7-3.
“We put some pressure on them, and they threw the ball
around,” Davenport coach Ed Grothus said.
“I was really nervous,” said Hawaii manager Layton
Aliviado. “We started making mistakes and they started
Enos, who after 4.2 solid innings of relief (starter
Alaka’i Aglipay tossed one scoreless inning), left the
game with two out in the top of the sixth. Fe’ao came in
to close, and the powerful hurler fanned Iowa’s Ryan
Cartee to put a stop to the short-lived comeback attempt
of the Davenport underdogs.
“If we can’t hit that 65 mph fastball [Enos] was
showing, then we don’t deserve to win,” Grothus
continued. “But I tip my hat to the pitcher. He made
pitches when he had to.”
Iowa registered only three hits prior to the sixth
“We’re a great BP [batting practice] team,” the Iowa
coach said. “We hit the snot out of the ball in BP…but
that’s not how you play the game.”
The first of Hawaii’s three home runs was a two-run shot
off the bat of Aglipay in the first. In Aglipay’s only
inning, he struck out Davenport’s top three batters
“Oh god, he was nice,” said Grothus. “[Aglipay] was very
The West Oahu manager commented that he “just gave [Aglipay]
“Keep him fresh for whenever we need him,” the skipper
A two-base error by Pfab in left field accounted for
Hawaii’s third run, as Guevara’s second-inning double
turned into a trip around the bases for a “Little League
“We just didn’t do our job on the mound,” said Grothus.
“The problem [shows] when you call for a ball up and
away and he throws it thigh high down the middle.
“And then, of course, our three blunders,” he added.
But Iowa’s three errors amounted to just one unearned
Sheyne Baniaga’s double in the third was stretched to a
three-base RBI after a Pfab error nearly cost Iowa
another inside-the-park RBI at-bat. Baniaga was stranded
on the corner after Franklin got catcher Michael Memea
to strike out swinging.
Iowa finally got a base runner in scoring position after
one of Hawaii’s three errors turned a right field single
turned into a two-base at-bat. But Enos ended the
Davenport offensive threat by getting pinch hitter
Rodriguez to strike out.
“They take big hacks,” the Iowa coach said of the island
“Home runs win Little League,” Grothus continued. “Mark
my words, you watch. Home runs will win these games.”