Game 1
1 vs. Northwest

Friday, August 19, 2005
4:00PM ET
Lamade Stadium

Hawaii erupts in Series opener
West Oahu Little League kicks off the Little League Baseball World Series and makes it clear that offense is key in 2005.

By Allie Weinberger

It’s gonna be an offensive year. You can tell already.

In the first game of the Little League Baseball World Series, the team with the most runs on the board in regional play (87) kicked things off in South Williamsport in a big way.

The West Oahu Little Leaguers pounded out seven runs on eight hits in a 7-1 win over Pennsylvania’s own Newtown Little League All-Stars in front of 9,827 at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.

It was three home runs that accounted for all seven Hawaii runs, and it didn’t take long to get going. After a quick strikeout and a walk in the top of the first, West Oahu’s starting pitcher Alaka’i Aglipay battled off five straight foul balls before tallying the first homer and the first two RBI of the 2005 Series.

“I was just looking for the right pitch and it came to me,” said Aglipay of his nearly foul home run over the left field wall. “And I took it deep.”

Three batters later, the Newton team took another hit – this time off the bat of Vonn Fe’ao, whose two-run, high-flying dinger over the left field wall gave Hawaii a 4-0 lead.

“KT [Keith Terry] was ahead of [both home runs] with two strikes,” said Newtown manager Bill Hartley. “KT got the ball up a little bit, a little too good of a pitch.”

Still down 4-0 in the second, the Mid-Atlantic champs gave their home state fans something to cheer about, as right fielder Daniel Denton squeaked a solo shot over the center field fence to score Newton’s only run.

But the island boys got another look at Terry in the third, when catcher Michael Memea closed out the scoring by belting a three-run homer.

“I was just trying to make contact with the ball,” said Memea.

“[Mike] just tries to hit hard and see what happens,” West Oahu manager Layton Aliviado said. “We don’t think about runs, we just go in there and hit hard. So if the home runs come, they come.”

In the bottom of the fifth things turned sour for the Keystone State players. Shortstop and team leader Ryan Hartley was hit on the right knuckles by a pitch from West Oahu’s fastballer Fe’ao.

“As soon as Ryan went down,” the elder Hartley said, “it struck a big blow.”

The shortstop was taken for x-rays immediately after the game.

“I hate the idea that his playing days as a Little Leaguer could be over,” Bill Hartley said, only partly as the team manager. The rest was all as Dad.

“You know, you work that hard to get up here, and one pitch and it could be all over for your son,” he said. “Guys would die to be up here with their son and I got to be up here with my son. He gets in the first game and he might not be able to play anymore.”

But the continued dominance of West Oahu was the real story of the Series opening matchup.

“They’re a force to be reckoned with for any of the coaches,” said Hartley. “The ball club itself swings a fantastic bat.”

But it was the pitching that really kept Newtown at bay.

“It’s hard to get to this level not having, you know, two or three … quality starters,” said Hartley.

West Oahu showcased a number of those quality pitchers Friday night. Among them was hard-throwing hurler Fe’ao. “He throws really hard,” Hartley continued. “Real hard.”

Hawaii also showed off lefty Quentin Guevara, who went three innings, allowing two hits and an earned run while striking out three. “Every coach dies for a lefty,” said Hartley.

Hawaii entered pool play after going 6-0 in regional action and outscoring opponents 87-19. The northwest regional winners put an astounding 14.5 runs per game on the board. As good as their pitching may be, it’s clear that offense carries this team.

“They walked Bubbles – Sheyne – but we still have a lot of power after him,” said Aliviado. “We don’t have only one guy, we got maybe seven or eight who can hit ‘em over the fence.”

The Newtown Little Leaguers won all six regional matchups, scoring 45 and letting up 25.

“We were hoping KT could keep the ball down and keep it away from them,” Hartley said. “KT’s last couple outings – couple of times he’s missed spots.

“Today he threw the ball pretty well. He hit his spots pretty well, and a couple he missed on ended up on the other side of the fence.”

Game Photos



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