Solid defense and the heroics of Kairos Torres-Umi led Molokai to the state Little League Majors (11-12) tournament for the first time since 2006.
Molokai made it to the championship game Wednesday evening against defending state champion Central East Maui after defeating them on Monday 7-6.
But before the championship game in the Hawaii State District 3 Little League Majors Tournament at Kalama Park in Kihei, Molokai, which had been unbeaten, had to suffer through a 13-1 loss to Central East Maui. The game ended after four innings under the mercy rule.
After pitching a 1-2-3 first inning in the championship game, Torres-Umi helped out Molokai with his bat, slugging a two-run two-out homer in the bottom of the inning.
On the mound, Torres-Umi was in control all evening. He finished the game with eight strikeouts and no walks over 83 pitches. Final score, 2-1.
“He is an excellent pitcher, he is one of my big guns,” Molokai manager Ilika Kaahanui told The Maui News about Torres-Umi. “Even for hitting, too, he is one of my big boys. He did a heck of a job today.”
Molokai will got to Oahu to compete in the state tournament July 20-25 in Kailua.