For the fourth straight time, the Hawaii state champion will be in Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series.
Kekoanui Payanal and Brennan Tomas homered and Jaron Lancaster threw all but one in Honolulu Little League’s 9-2 win over Sidewinder (Ariz.) in the West Regional final Friday night in San Bernardino, California
The Oahu juniors used a six-run second inning to back Lancaster and propel themselves to the club’s third Little League World Series appearance in four tournaments — Honolulu won it all in 2018 and finished third in last year, when only American teams played in Williamsport.
Central East Maui advanced to the LLWS US Championship game in 2019. The 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Lancaster allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and three walks while striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings. After Arizona scored a run on an error in the ninth, Cohen Sakamoto came on in relief with two runners on and got Wes Wolfley to ground out to first for the final out.
Lancaster also drove in two runs at the plate.
Payanal put Honolulu ahead early with his home run to lead off the bottom of the first inning. After his big second inning, Tomas led off the bottom of the third with a home run to center field to make it 8-1.
Honolulu begins Little League World Series play Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Hawaii time against Northwest Region champion Bonney Lake (Wash.). The match will be televised by ESPN.
Today’s news and more delivered to your inbox