Central East Maui 50/70s on their way to World Series | News, Sports, Jobs

The Central East Maui Little League Intermediate 50/70 team poses with their banner after winning the West Regional Thursday night in Nogales, Arizona.

It’s been a whirlwind past 48 hours for the Central East Maui Little League All-Stars at the intermediate level.

The team of 13 players from four different Maui schools won the Little League Intermediate (12-13) 50/70 West Regional in Nogales, Arizona, Thursday night. They defeated Southern California champions Laguna Beach Little League 12-8 in the title game.

Soon after, the Maui boys were parading through the US-Mexico border town under police escort as regional champions. On Friday, they checked into their hotel in Livermore, Calif., for the 50/70 World Series that begins Sunday.

“Oh, it’s one of the coolest things in my life, you know, that these guys have a chance,” Maui manager Chris Kish said by phone Friday. “We almost didn’t even have a team that had to come together and participate in the state tournament. It was pretty last-minute, so when the other coaches and I came in and we were able to put the roster together, it’s pretty ironic how wonderfully it’s come to fruition.”

The team includes players from middle schools St. Anthony, Kamehameha Maui, Iao and Maui Waena.

“All the guys have really gelled since the first practice,” Kish said. “It’s a great variety of guys from different teams that have come together. The caliber of talent, it’s really solid.”

CEMLL took the lead early in the championship game, scoring a run in the first inning on an RBI single by Marcus Mamuad. Maui scored six runs in the sixth inning with RBIs from Malu Rosaga, Isaac Gosselin, Jayden Perry-Waikiki and Mamuad.

Mamuad, Perry-Waikiki, Koltyn Sergent, Riley Phillips and Kaniela Belena each had two hits to balance Maui’s 14-hit attack in the final.

The roster is rounded out by Alika Kish, George Dafun, Teyvon Kahalewai, Kekoa Brown, Kapono Easley and Nainoa Haban.

Chris Kish is assisted by coaches Koa Brown and Joseph Gosselin.

Maui won the world intermediate crown in 2016 and reached the semifinals a year later.

Maui opens play in the Intermediate World Series Sunday at 9:00 a.m. HST against East Region champion Toms River (NJ) East.

There are six U.S. regional champions and six international regional champions in the World Series that ends with the world championship game on Aug. 7; this game will be televised on ESPN2 at 3 pm HST. Most other games will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Central East Maui’s 50/70 team joins their Senior League counterparts on the World Series stage. The CEM Seniors (15-16), who clinched their berth Wednesday, begin Senior League World Series play in Easley, SC against Fleet Park (Va.) in the tournament opener today at at 4:00 am HST.

All SLWS games will be available on ESPN+ except for the final, which will be televised on ESPN on August 6 at 10:00 a.m. HST.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

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