2008 Hawaii State Little League® Tournament Results
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Hawaii State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

Toward the present

Hawaii State Tournament
Host - Kauai (Kapaa) (District 1)
At New Kapa'a Ball Park

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions Kailua
District 3 Champions Central East Maui (Wailuku)
District 4 Champions Hilo National
District 6 Champions Kaimuki (Honolulu)
District 7 Champions Waipio (Waipahu)
District 8 Champions West Oahu (Ewa Beach)

Click here to view 2008 district tournament results for Hawaii.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Central East Maui 11, West Oahu 10
Kaimuki 10, Hilo National 0 (4 innings)

Winner's Bracket Semifinals:
Central East Maui 4, Waipio 3
Kaimuki 5, Kailua 1

Elimination Bracket Quarterfinals (six teams remain):
West Oahu 11, Hilo National 3 (elim.)
Waipio 5, Kailua 0 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Kaimuki 8, Central East Maui 5

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
Waipio 8, West Oahu 2 (elim.)

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
Waipio 6, Central East Maui 3 (elim.)

Championship Series:
Waipio 3, Kaimuki 2
Waipio 4, Kaimuki 3 (TITLE)


When the 2008 international tournament came to a close, Hawaii's Waipio Little League stood at the pinnacle of youth baseball success. Waipio staged a miraculous last-inning comeback to overtake South Lake Charles (Louisiana) Little League, 7-5, in the United States championship game, and then thrashed Mexico's Matamoros Little League, 12-3, to win the 62nd annual Little League World Series.

But as his team prepared for their destiny-defining matchups in the final stages of the Little League World Series, Waipio manager Timo Donahue cast a glance back to the games his team had played earlier in the summer.

"Every game we played in the past, from the state tournament on, (has) prepared us for this," wrote Donahue prior to their clash with South Lake Charles in a diary he wrote for the Honolulu Advertiser. "I want to tip my hat to Kaimuki (in the state final) and Nevada (in the regional final) who prepared us for this."

Kaimuki -- and the rest of the field at the Hawaii state tournament -- had given Waipio all they could handle at the New Kapa'a Ball Park on Kauai. The Waipahu-based league dropped its opener in the 2008 tournament, and needed five consecutive victories in five days to re-capture the title it had won the previous two summers. Waipio overcame deficits in each of its final three wins, and the last two -- a pair of one-run decisions over previously unbeaten Kaimuki -- helped lift the team to the West Region tournament in San Bernardino, California.

Waipio had already survived three elimination games at the state tournament -- and had avenged their earlier defeat -- when they faced Kaimuki in the championship series. In the first meeting, Waipio scored single runs in the second and third innings to tie and then pull ahead in a 3-2 victory that forced the tournament to a final game. The next day, Kaimuki carried a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth before Waipio rallied for a 4-3 win.

Khade Paris and Christian Donahue paced Waipio in the first win: each hit a solo home run, and the two combined on a two-hitter. Donahue's home run led off the bottom of the first inning and gave Waipio an early edge, but Kaimuki moved in front in the second. A pair of walks sandwiched around Quinn Cassidy's single loaded the bases, and Ethan Rosehill and Cassidy both scored on passed balls.

Waipio tied the game in the second when Trevor Ling's single drove in Keenan Obedoza. Then Paris, who'd struggled with his control in the second, struck out the side before homering on the third pitch in the bottom of the inning.

Paris -- who struck out ten -- shut out Kaimuki in the fourth, then Donahue pitched a pair of scoreless innings to seal the victory.

The next day, Kaimuki again jumped to an early lead, as solo home runs from third baseman Tosh Taniguchi and Max Look coupled with Cassidy's third inning sacrifice fly helped to build a 3-1 lead. But Waipio again rallied. Jedd Andrade opened the fifth with a walk, and Tanner Tokunaga followed with a game-tying home run that cleared the left center field fence. Kainoa Fong -- Waipio's smallest player -- immediately followed with a homer of his own to pull his team into the lead. Tokunaga, who relieved starter Iolana Akau, registered a pair of strikeouts before inducing a tournament-ending groundout.

"We gave it everything we had," said Kaimuki manager Gordan Oda. "But unfortunately, we just came up a little short."

Timo Donahue, who told onlookers that he felt the 2008 state tournament field was the toughest he'd seen in Waipio's three-year title run, had focused on keeping his team's attention on the here and now.

"Basically, we told them to take it one game at a time," said the Waipio manager after the tournament. "I know all coaches say that, but it actually worked. They didn't even talk about the next game."

Waipio's one-step-at-a-time approach was made necessary by the team's early round loss at the state tournament. The District 7 champions returned seven players from a team that reached the West Region semifinals in 2007, but opened the 2008 tournament with a 4-3 los to Central East Maui Little League. Waipio got home runs from Pikay Winchester and Obedoza, but the Maui squad pushed across a run in the final inning to secure the win. Daulton Cabacungan homered, doubled, and singled for Central East Maui, and scored a pair of runs. Tyler Harry scored the winning run in the sixth.

Waipio began its long climb through the bottom bracket by blanking Kailua Little League, 5-0. Paris threw a complete game no-hitter, and Winchester's three-run homer in the first gave the eventual champions all the runs they would need. Christian Donahue had opened the inning with a walk, and Paris singled ahead of Winchester's blast. Winchester and Paris had two hits each to account for all of Waipio's offense.

The next day, Waipio downed West Oahu Little League, 8-2. Akau threw a three-hit complete game, striking out seven batters, and Caleb Duhay gave Waipio an early edge with a three-run homer in the first. A pair of solo home runs from Ricky Ahlo-Pinera narrowed Waipio's lead to a single run, but West Oahu proved to have a less-than-singular focus as three players and a coach departed mid-game to catch a flight to another tournament.

Waipio then pulled away with a five-run push in the fifth. Duhay again sparked the offense, drawing a leadoff walk before eventually scoring on Akau's double to left center field. Obedoza and Andrade followed with run-scoring doubles to extend the lead, and after Tokunaga walked and Fong loaded the bases with a bunt single, Paris drove a two-run double to ice the win.

The win earned Waipio a second shot at Central East Maui, which dropped to the bottom bracket following an 8-5 loss to Kaimuki. The Maui champions capitalized on a pair of walks to score three runs in the second, but Tokunaga's fourth inning grand slam capped a five-run rally that helped his team rally for a 6-3 win.

Waipio's decisive push came with two outs. Paris had drawn a leadoff walk, and after a pair of strikeouts, Akau's single scored special pinch runner Jordan Ulep. Obedoza and Andrade walked, then Tokunaga drove a 2-2 pitch beyond the outfield fence to reverse his team's two-run deficit.

Waipio added a run in the fifth on Paris' run-scoring single, and Tokunaga closed out the win in relief of Duhay to pull his team into the championship game.

The victories over Kaimuki lifted Waipio back into the region tournament, and Timo Donahue hoped his team could improve upon its showing from the previous two years. Waipio had reached the semifinal round in 2006 and 2007, but in both years then fell to the eventual tournament champion.

"I wish experience would mean that we go beyond the regional," said the Hawaii manager. "But judging from what we saw in the states, it might be that the talent level at this age is up a step."

It was, as Donahue himself would later attest. But Waipio was able to raise its game as well, and kept climbing until it reached the mountaintop.

Follow Waipio at the West Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Elimination Bracket Semifinal 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
West Oahu 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 -
Waipio 3 0 0 0 5 x 8 5 -
  Elimination Bracket Final
Central East Maui 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 4 -
Waipio 0 0 0 5 1 x 6 5 -
  Championship Series Game 1
Kaimuki 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 -
Waipio 1 1 1 0 0 x 3 5 -
  Championship Series Game 2
Kaimuki 0 0 1 1 1 0 3 5 -
Waipio 0 0 0 1 3 x 4 4 -

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/13/2009