SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Everything was going Dixie’s way at the Little League West Regional at Houghton Stadium Monday. And then the roof caved in.
Hawaii scored 14 unanswered runs and roared past Dixie for a 14-5 win at the West Regional, sending the southern Utah 11- and 12-year-olds to the one-loss bracket.
Dixie, representing the state of Utah, scored three runs in the top of the first and two more in the top of the third for a 5-0 lead against heavily-favored Hawaii. But the Hawaiians notched four runs in the bottom of the fourth and exploded for 10 more in the bottom of the fifth to take over the game and cruise to the big win.
Two Hawaii errors and an RBI by Seth Wells had put Dixie ahead 3-0 in the first inning.
Meanwhile, Kyler Terry was putting on a show on the mound. He struck out the first three Hawaii batters he faced and retired the first nine Hawaiians in order.
In the top of the third, Matt McArthur led off and socked a 3-2 pitch over the right field fence to make it 4-0. Three batters later, Wells struck again, singling to center to bring home Kean Webb and make it 5-0.
Victory seemed within grasp for the Utahns, even into the fourth. Hawaii got its first hit, and it was a big one, to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Xaige Lancaster hammered a home run over the center field fence to break up the no hitter and the shutout and it was 5-1.
After a strikeout by Terry, another Hawaii batter walked and then Joshua Ward socked a two-run homer over center to make it 5-3. Hawaii scored once more in the fourth to cut it to 5-4 on an RBI single by Klayson Herolaga, but Terry and Dixie LL managed to emerge from the fourth with a one-run (5-4) lead still intact.
However, things went south in the fifth. After a walk and a strikeout, Hawaii was able to get nine straight batters to reach base on five hits, a walk, a mental error fielder’s choice and two hit batsmen. The Hawaiians tied it on an RBI single by Kaimana Kuamo’o and then took the lead for good on a three-run double by Kaynan Kaku Jr.
Hawaii ended up with 10 runs in the fifth and finished the game with 14 runs on 10 hits, plus five Dixie errors.
Dixie, which had led 5-0, finished with five runs on eight hits. Wells, McArthur and Jaxon Barben each had two hits for the team from southern Utah.
Dixie will battle in the elimination bracket for the rest of its visit to San Bernardino. It will start with a 4:30 p.m. (PST) Tuesday game against Nevada. Dixie will battle the team from Summerlin South (Las Vegas), which dropped its opener Monday to Southern California in a 7-2 defeat.
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