Earlier this week, 10 teams had their eyes keyed in on the opportunity to move on to represent Hawaii at the Cal Ripken Reginal Tournament in Fallon, Nevada. Luckily, the Hanapepe Cubs and Hawaii Kai Elite, both secured a spot in the Regional Tournament even before the Championship Tournament began.
Before arriving at the Championship game, Hawaii Kai Elite battled for their spot against Pearl City Nā Kama and edged out a 5-1 win. Hanapepe on the other hand dominated their game and amassed 6 HRs in the semi-final match against the Aiea Athletics, to run-rule them in the 4th, 12-2.
Hanapepe entered the Championship game undefeated and never trailed the opponent in the tournament yet. However, it was Hawaii Kai that struck first as Carson Yamada hit a solo shot to left center to give his team an early lead in the bottom of the 1st. The first base side of the field cheered as Hawaii Kai tacked on three more runs to take a 4-0 lead.
Hanapepe’s Chase Kawakami decreased the score deficit to 2-runs with a 2-run homerun to make the score 4-2. However, with Hayden Ajimine-Dela Cruz coming in to pitch for Hawaii Kai, the Cub’s offense struggled to produce any more runs for the rest of the game.
The competitiveness of both teams continued throughout the game but in the end, Hawaii Kai Elite emerged victorious and will represent Hawaii as the champion heading into the Regional Tournament. Congratulations to both teams on an outstanding tournament run and best of luck in Regionals!
Mahalo SportStan for sponsoring our broadcast and digital coverage for the Cal Ripken State Tournament!