Oahu's Babe Ruth World Series champions welcomed home with cheers, lei
The Hawaii Thunder baseball team, winner of the Babe Ruth 14 and under World Series Championship, returned home Friday to about 50 cheering fans one day after they captured the tournament title in Glenn Allen, Virginia.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Brayden Hiraki pitched the final game.
He threw a complete game, all five innings, and a shutout.
The final score was 13 - 0 so the mercy rule went into effect.
Over seven days, the boys played six games, and went undefeated, outscoring their opponents, 51 to 4.
"In Hawaii, I feel like (the other teams) are better, gave us more of a challenge than the ones in the world series," said Hiraki, of the competition this year.
Coach Daren Akiyama said age is the difference.
Last year, the Thunder lost in the championship game and they've been in the semis before too. "Experience, this year you could see the maturity," he said.
Kelena Sauer was the tournament's MVP. "It took us like five years just to get to a world series and win the whole thing," he said. "So it feels really good."
The team had to overcome jet lag, and the heat and humidity that they're not used to. The temperature was in the 90's everyday with high humidity.
"Nobody understands the weather," said Akiyama, "The weather conditions was really tough for the boys but they pulled through."
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