Western Regional opener gets away from Orange


SAN BERNARDINO – To properly put into perspective what Hawaii's Nanakuli Little League accomplished in the sixth inning of Orange's Western Regional opener, know that after consecutive singles in the first scratched across the game's first run, a pair of Orange pitchers surrendered only one hit until the final inning.

In that final inning, Hawaii turned a one-run deficit into a three-run advantage with five hits and four runs to top Orange, 5-2, at Al Houghton Stadium on Saturday night.

Orange will be back on the field Sunday at 9 a.m. against the team from Utah

With the score knotted at one in the bottom of the fifth, Orange pinch-hitter Chris Yepez roped a two-out double then advanced to third on a wild pitch.

After a walk and hit batsman, AJ Esperanza — who had tied the score with a solo home run in the fourth — knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI single to right.

Still with the bases loaded and two away, Brandon Ducheny fouled off three pitches with the count full before flying out to deep center.

In the top of the sixth, back-to-back doubles by Jaylen Gonzales and Danson Oliva (Hawaii's No. 3 and clean-up hitters) pulled the visitors even at 2-2.

After an intentional walk and subsequent single loaded the bases, Kyler Stephens broke the tie with a two-run single down the right-field line, just off the glove of first baseman Josh Aviles.

Hawaii added another run on their fifth hit of the inning.

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