Maui Little League all-stars advance in Intermediate World Series

Maui’s Intermediate Division 50/70 baseball Little League all-stars made their World Series debut in California on Sunday.
Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 6:08 PM HST
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LIVERMORE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui’s Intermediate Division 50/70 baseball Little League all-stars made their World Series debut in California on Sunday.

And the 13-year-old boys from the Valley Isle are advancing!

Representing the West Region, Maui beat the East Region’s Toms River, New Jersey 11 to 10.

It is the third time in history Maui has ever made it to the Intermediate World Series in Livermore, California.

“To get to the World Series, this is the Grand Daddy for them,” said Central East Maui Little League Coach Kekoa Brown. “And to play in front of everybody, everybody watching back home, friends on the mainland, we’re happy.”

East Region’s Toms River, New Jersey was first up to the plate. Maui’s right fielder Pono Easley caught the first hit of the game. It was all smiles for the 13-year-old Wailuku resident living out his dream.

Maui fell behind early in the game. The score was 4-1 until the fourth inning. But they battled and rallied back. One of the key players in that rally was pitcher Kaniela Belena.

“It felt amazing. I’ve never been in the World Series before. It felt good. A good feeling,” Belena said. “A lot of people are watching you and you’re also on TV … but I think I did pretty good.”

The Maui all-stars play host-team Danville, California Monday at 9 a.m. HST. The games are available on the ESPN Plus app.

“You haven’t seen the best of us yet here,” said Brown.

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