From Honolulu with love…
The Honolulu Little League ignited the 2022 Little League World Series by knocking teams left and right and qualifying for the National Championship. Hawaii is two games away from winning her fourth Little League World Series title since 2005.
Hawaii’s dominance in this year’s tournament is unprecedented. The Honolulu-based team has shown both explosive offense and outright pitching to hit opponents early and often.
Here are four numbers summarizing Hawaii’s impressive performance in the 2022 Little League World Series.
Details: Latest Little League World Series scores, bracket updates, TV info
That’s the number of hits the Honolulu Little League surrendered in last week’s second-round game against New York.
The historic no-hitter performance was highlighted by 7 strikeouts in 3 innings by ace Jaron Lancaster. Sakamoto Cohen began to step into the limelight to Lancaster’s relief. Sakamoto also pitched a gem and fanned four batters in two innings before the game was called with Mercy Ruding.
— ESPN (@espn) August 20, 2022
In a showcase of pitching prowess last week, the island nation became the first-ever no-hitter in the Little League World Series. Lancaster and Sakamoto continue to impress on both sides of the field and help lead to another impressive stat…
Hawaii outscores their opponents 42-1 at Williamsport.that is foolish.
On the defensive side of things, Hawaii is virtually unbeatable. The trinity of pitchers of Lancaster, Sakamoto, and Luke Hiramoto keeps opponents in lockdown, easily fanning hitters while softening weak contact on the rare occasions when they can actually get the bat on the ball.
Details: 2022 tournament LLWS teams, ages, pitches and more
And what about the lineup? Well, it’s an explosive bunch. Hawaii has scored in double digits in all but one of his games in this Little League World Series.
Combining a lineup of Murderers Row types with a pitching staff that makes the best of Maddux/Gravine/Smoltz impressions leads to one thing. A ruling of mercy…
Two of Hawaii’s three Little League World Series games ended early due to the mercy rule.
Sakamoto displayed impressive two-way ability in an 11-1 win over Washington in the opening game of the Little League World Series. Hawaii’s (other) ace he struck out six in three innings. He also drove the game’s first two runs at the plate.
Then there was the Lancaster and Sakamoto no-no. While the pitching staff shined, Hawaii was also strong at bat. The Honolulu-based Ballers only allowed him to hit four homers in five innings of work, two of which came from his payanal to Kekoa.
— ESPN (@espn) August 20, 2022
“I have this routine,” Payanal said. “Basically, I take a deep breath and stare at the bat and focus. That’s what works for me.”
Another word on Hawaii’s pitching dominance: The island nation’s pitch staff gave up just four (!) hits throughout the Little League World Series.
4 small hits. It cannot be overstated how special this Hawaiian pitching his staff is. In an offensive fireworks-filled tournament, the tournament already saw him record his double-digit running totals for eight teams. Hawaii is closing down teams at a rate that doesn’t look out of place even in dead-ball times.
Walter Johnson and Cy Young would be so proud!
One thing about Hawaii’s dominance in the 2022 Little League World Series is that it’s more or less evenly distributed across the roster.
Names such as Lancaster, Sakamoto and Payanal shine. But it’s a worker-like approach to baseball that allows more players to get into the action. Five Hawaii players have hit in every game in this Little League World Series.
It’s a way of thinking that comes from above. Hawaii has relied on the “We > Me” motto and it has worked well so far, said interim manager Keith Oda.
“What we’re banging on these kids’ heads is that it’s not about you, it’s about the team,” Oda said. Anything, even if you are a beginner, do your best to become the best cheerleader for your team.”
It also converts to a dugout. Oda was not originally scheduled to be the head of the team. That responsibility usually falls to his younger brother Gerald. But Gerard he contracted COVID-19. Keith Oda has stepped up in his absence. And now Hawaii stands on the threshold of another Little League World Series title.
“We tell them to attack every pitch, and they work hard for it. Their hard work shows in the game.”