Waipahu, Hawaii erupts for 10 runs against Tampa, Florida in
By Dustin Picciolo
Tampa, Florida versus Waipahu, Hawaii in prime time was looked at by
those in Little League circles to be the marquee matchup of the
World Series to date.
Florida came in to the tournament on the strength of its pitching
and defense. Hawaii arrived in South Williamsport on the heels of
its timely hitting.
In the end, Sunday night, Hawaii’s hitting topped Florida’s
The Waipio Little League All-Stars defeated the Citrus Park Little
League All-Stars 10-2 in front of 11,850 at Howard J. Lamade
With the win, Hawaii improved to 2-0 in Pool B play and assured
itself of a spot in a United States semi-final game either Wednesday
The West champs had to battle back from a 2-0 deficit after the
first half inning. Hawaii’s Khade Paris walked three, allowed a
single, and unleashed four wild pitches to fall into the two-run
Things were looking good early for Tampa and starter Kevin Merrell,
who limited Hawaii to one hit in the first two innings. With one out
and runners on first and second in the bottom of the first, left
fielder Darren Miller kept Hawaii scoreless by robbing Pikai
Winchester of an extra-base hit.
But then in the third, Hawaii stormed back with four runs, including
the go-ahead tally on Trevor Ling’s sacrifice fly.
The West then put the game away with two runs in the fourth and four
more in the fifth on Tanner Tokunaga’s grand slam.
“He just hung his curveball and I hit it good,” Tokunaga said. “It
just busted the game open.”
Hawaii’s pitching staff settled down after the two-run first. Tanner
Tokunaga tossed 1.1 scoreless innings, and Ling came on to throw
three scoreless innings to earn the victory. In the sixth, Christian
Donahue recorded two outs and then had two strikes on Darren Miller
before Hawaii Manager Timo Donahue pulled his son in favor of Kainoa
Fong. Fong got Miller swinging on his first pitch to end the game.
“I was really nervous,” Ling said. “I tried taking deep breaths to
calm me down.”
It seemed to work, as Ling ended the night with four strikeouts and
just one walk, looking unhittable at times.
On a night that began looking good for Tampa, it became a night of
frustration. Hawaii was able to regain control of their pitchers,
and their bats came alive to put up 10 runs.
“That’s a good team, they’re a very good team,” said Tampa Manager
When speaking of his own team, McGuire said, “I have told them in
the past when they get a lead they kind of put it on cruise control,
and they did that today.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow, Hawaii’s Timo Donahue said, “We are going
to try and conserve pitching.”
© 2008, Little League Baseball
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