Hawaii dominates the Little League World Series

Kaylee Donnelly, Contributing Writer

The Little League World Series celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, taking place these past few weeks just about 45 minutes away in South Williamsport, Pa. The tournament started out with 20 teams and all the games took place throughout August. 

The final four and championship took place this past weekend, with two games on Saturday and the championship on Sunday. The West representative, Hawaii, was able to defeat the Southeast representative, Tennessee, with a score of 5–1. The Caribbean representative, Curacao, defeated the Asia-Pacific representative, Taiwan, in a tight game with a score of 1–0. 

The championship, however, was a wipeout. The Western representative Hawaii defeated the Caribbean representative Curacao 13-3 in just four innings. The gap occurred so quickly and so greatly that the game was called due to a mercy ruling. This ruling says if a team scores more than ten runs in under four innings, the game is over. This championship was the fourth win for Hawaii, after a third place title due to the pandemic cancellation of the world series championship in 2020.

Hawaii’s domination did not just occur during their final match. Over the course of the entire month, the team outscored its opponents 60-5, with not a single team coming within a four run margin that Hawaii was able to uphold. 

But why has Hawaii’s team done so overwhelmingly well this past year? 

Perhaps it’s Hawaii’s history with Little League and baseball itself. Even before its induction into the United States as an official state, Hawaii was the first territory outside the then 48 continental states to put teams into the league. Honolulu’s Little League is one of the oldest in the state, starting in 1954 and still playing today. 

It’s clear that Hawaii’s experience has paid off. They have made 15 total Little League World Series appearances, with wins coming in 2005, 2008, 2018 and now 2022. 

This success could also be due to management. General manager Gerald Oda returned this year after his four year break from the team. Oda was a part of the management staff in 2018 that helped the past team win a championship. An alumni of Little League Baseball himself, Oda was happy to take back his position and attempt another championship in 2022 – and attempt he did, as he joined the boys in their trip back to Honolulu with a championship under their belts. 

Of course, it’s also the talent of the boys themselves that contributes to the team’s success. Several players had stand-out performances, with pitchers closing innings and several players hitting home runs, as well as the overall dedication all of them put into winning a championship.

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