Hawaii tops Georgia, moves to LLWS title game
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — After striking out his 15th batter to end the game, Hawaii’s Aukai Kea pumped his fists and let out a shout for all to hear.
Within seconds, Kea’s teammates sprinted to the pitcher’s mound to congratulate their team’s ace, hugging and pounding on him. Hawaii shut out Georgia 3-0 and Kea’s complete game sealed its berth in the Little League World Series championship.
“I just pitched my heart out,” Kea said. “Did as best I could.”
About 60 feet away, the Hawaii faithful chanted “Hon-o-lulu!” in the stands over the first base dugout. As his home state deals with record rainfall from Tropical Storm Lane 4,000 miles away from South Williamsport, Kea took full note of the fans’ energy.
“When I was on the mound, I could hear them and I was like, ‘That’s why we’re here. That’s who we’re playing for. We’re playing for home, playing for Hawaii,'” Kea said.
The U.S champions will take on South Korea in the tournament championship Sunday.
Even though Georgia never advanced a runner past first base, the game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning, when a pair of pinch hitters provided the spark that Hawaii needed.