Central Maui Comeback Falls Short, 3-2
By Fred Guzman
After falling into an early hole, the Central East Maui All-Stars finally got their offense going late only to have its comeback bid cut short on a huge defensive play in a 3-2 loss to Rio Rico of Arizona in the Little League West regional game at San Bernardino, Calif.
Maui rallied from a 3-0 deficit with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. With two uts and runners on third and first, a clutch fielding play by Rio Rico resulted in a game-ending fielder’s choice at second.
Rio Rico pitching ace Angel Chavez was totally dominant through most of the game but had started to weaken as he approached the Little League pitch count and had to leave the mound. Chavez went 5.2 innings, allowing two hits and striking out 14. Cesar Dominguez can in to secure the final out.
Marshall-James Mindoro had a hit and scored a turn for Central Maui, while Orion Miyasoto-Farias had a hit and drove in a run.
Group action continues today, with Cental Maui seeking to counce back against Southern California champion Huntington Beach. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. The game will be aired on ESPN 550.
Central East Maui also plays at 9:30 a.m. Monday against Washington, Utah, and at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday against Northern California champion Red Bluff.
The top two teams in each six-team pool qualify for Friday’s semifinals. The regional final will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13.