Kauai plated two runs in the top of the seventh inning and held on to eliminate Hilo Red 7-6 in the state PONY Baseball Mustang Division Tournament on Sunday.
The double-elimination event for players ages 9-10 is being played on Maui.
“We gave it a great shot,” Hilo Red manager Shon Malani said. “We had the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh inning before a fly out ended the game.
“We had a lot of chances to win, but the chips just didn’t fall our way today. It’s a good learning experience for the kids and they’ll come back even stronger next year.”
Kauai advanced to Monday’s championship game. But it had its hands full with Hilo Red.
The Garden Isle squad grabbed a 4-2 lead in the top of the second inning before Hilo Red fought back to take a 5-4 advantage in the bottom of the fifth.
Kauai tied the game at 5-5 in the sixth. Then in the extra inning, the visitors squeezed home a run to take the lead and plated a second run on an error.
Hilo Red rallied in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a run to close to within 7-6. However, the Big Islanders couldn’t come up with that final key hit to pull out a victory.
Kallen Turner started on the mound for Hilo Red and left with one out in the second inning. Dylan Honda came out on to slow down Kauai and finished.
“Dylan was awesome,” Malani said. “He pitched had an outstanding performance and kept us in the game. In six innings, he was so effective, he didn’t even throw 50 pitches.”
Falu Baclig was the lone Big Islander to pair hits, with two singles. Teammate Brock Malani drove in two runs, on a pair of sacrifice flies.
“Our season is over, but the kids fought all the way to the end,” Coach Malani said.
Hilo Red had advanced to the mainland the past two years to play in postseason action.
Kona 10 Windward 5
Kona 3, Waianae 2
Hilo White 12, Kapolei 11
Kauai 7, Hilo 6
Pony 13s Division
Maui 10, Hilo 7
Kona vs. Hilo White, 3:30 p.m.
Pony 13-14 Division
Hilo (2-0) vs. MKYBL, 1 p.m.