Upstart Hawaii team tops Tucson in ninth

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL 

Waipahu Baseball Club of Hawaii brought a modest 12-6 record into the American Legion Western Regional.

After opening the double-elimination tournament at Wilson Stadium with a loss to Sierra Vista on Thursday, Waipahu appeared headed for an early exit.

But by ousting two opponents in two days, Waipahu has emerged as the Cinderella among the four teams remaining in the tournament.

Brenn Peltier’s two-out double in the top of the ninth inning scored Myron Enos with the go-ahead run to lift Waipahu to a 9-8 victory over Tucson Northwest (Ariz.) on Saturday.

“This is how we’re supposed to be playing,” Waipahu coach Milton Takenaka said. “That first game, I think it was just a bit of nerves. Now, we’re a little bit more relaxed.”

Waipahu will play Bishop Gorman today at 5 or 8 p.m., depending on the outcome of Saturday’s late game between Sierra Vista and Gorman. In the other game today, Sierra Vista will play Long Beach-Wilson (Calif.).

The tournament winner advances to the Legion World Series, which opens Friday in Spokane, Wash.

Waipahu’s Cheves Numata allowed one earned run on three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings of relief to get the win. The right-hander struck out five, including two of the five batters he faced in the ninth.

“Our kids just clutched up when we had to,” Takenaka said.

Peltier, Enos, Jonathan Kealoha (two RBIs) and Ignatius Mackenzie had two hits each for Waipahu (14-7).

Robert Kallal went 2-for-5 with two RBIs to lead Tucson (14-9).

■ Long Beach-Wilson (Calif.) 10, Taylorsville (Utah) 0 — Sean Buckle fired a five-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts and no walks to help the Bruins (24-4) eliminate the Warriors (26-7) in eight innings.

Buckle also went 3-for-5 with a triple and a double for Long Beach, which scored five runs in the eighth.

Long Beach’s Soloman Williams had three hits, including a solo home run in the fifth. Teammate Stefan Miladinovich added a two-run shot in the seventh.

■ FAITH ADVANCES — At Le Sueur, Minn., Legion Silver Division state champion Faith Lutheran won 17-4 in six innings over Casselton (N.D.) to reach the championship round of the Central Plains Tournament.

David Edson went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs for Faith Lutheran, and teammate Michael Kinkenon was 2-for-2 with three RBIs.

The Crusaders, who moved to 4-0 at the tournament, will play Pratt (Kan.) in the final round at 10:30 a.m. today. If Faith Lutheran were to lose, a winner-take-all finale would follow.

Faith Lutheran will try to repeat as tournament champion. Legacy won the event two years ago.

Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203.

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