SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT – Kekoa Payanal led Friday night’s game at Lamade Stadium with a home run, and it all went well for Hawaii as Jaron Lancaster and Cohen Sakamoto combined without a hit as Hawaii beat the Metro Champions from Massapequa, NY, 12-0 in five innings.
Payanal finished the game with two homers, while Hawaii had 13 hits in the victory.
“The first home run was a big boost of energy for our team,” Payanal said. “Since the first home run, we were all excited. Our team was super excited and rallied around it.
Payanal’s second homer came in the fifth, bringing Esaiah Wong home to give Hawaii a 5-0 lead.
“We had a huge advantage tonight with a game under our belt,” coach Keith Oda said. “The other night we were really nervous before our game. We told the boys we had a big advantage. We lived what it was like. First at bat in every inning, we just had to attack, attack , tackle.
Wong added a three-run homer in the sixth inning for a 9-0 lead.
“I didn’t have the best game in our first,” Wong said. “Today when Kekoa (Payanal) hit the home run I was so excited. I was just ready to get in the game. When I got called I had to hang on and help the team in any way.
“When Kekoa (Payanal) hit the home run, I jumped and fell. When I hit the home run, I didn’t think it was going to pass. Then I flexed around the bases and I trampled on the marble.
Lancaster struck out seven in three innings, allowing two walks, while Sakamoto finished with four strikeouts in two innings.
“Going into the game knowing we were going to face their No. 1 pitcher, we knew the speed would be up there,” Metro manager Roland Clark said. “Between the first innings, there were four check swings that were uncharacteristic.”
Panama 9, Caribbean 3
Gabriel de Garcia made Panama’s first inning of the 2022 Little League World Series something special by winning a grand slam over the left field fence.
It was a magical moment that de Garcia experienced as he pointed the crowd and leaped along the third base line towards anxious teammates. The dramatic start was enough for Panama to secure their first-ever victory in the series.
The offense continued to roll in the second inning when Adrian de Garcia hit a field error. He then scored on a brace from Jaime Escudero. A walk followed, but a change of pitch could produce the final.
Jeykol de Leon raced through the first three innings, allowing just one hit, before Caribbean hit him for three runs in the fourth inning. He struck out six and scored one in the win.
Joshua Acosta hit a two-run single in the fourth for the Caribbean.
Canada 6, Japan 0
The series got its first shock as Canada knocked out perennial powerhouse Japan in the final international game of the day.
The Vancouver team broke a scoreless tie with a game-high six runs in the sixth inning.
Braedyn Lai Hainstock started the sixth with a hit-per-pitch, and Lucas Weisser followed with a brace. Jaxon Mayervich followed with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Ellis St. James followed with an RBI sacrificial bunt. A walk and a simple curry then loaded the bases.
Ben Dartnell then cleared the goals with a brace for a 5-0 lead. The final run scored on an error.
Mayervich worked 4 2/3 innings in relief for the victory. He struck out 10, including all six in the bottom of the sixth to take the win.