Game 11
Midwest
 3 vs. Northwest 7

Sunday, August 21, 2005
3:00PM ET
Volunteer Stadium

 
Happy Birthday, Hawaii
The Aloha State All-Stars celebrate their state’s 46th anniversary of statehood by moving to 2-0 in Pool A play.

By Allie Weinberger

The power of the West Oahu Little Leaguers is a force to be reckoned with.

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 Stadium.

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 Fe’ao.

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 hitting.”

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 inning.

“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 swinging.

“Oh god, he was nice,” said Grothus. “[Aglipay] was very nice.”

The West Oahu manager commented that he “just gave [Aglipay] a workout.

“Keep him fresh for whenever we need him,” the skipper added.

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 home run.”

“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 run.

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 boys lineup.

“Home runs win Little League,” Grothus continued. “Mark my words, you watch. Home runs will win these games.”
 

Game Photos


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