Kobi Candaroma’s no-hitter was more than enough to get the victory for Hilo.
Manager Zackery Higa also credited Candaroma with a save for his Senior League Baseball squad as well.
Candaroma shut down Montana for five innings Thursday as Hilo remained unbeaten at the West Regional in Ontario, Calif., after its 10-0 victory.
The Kamehameha-Hawaii sophomore’s handiwork — he allowed just three walks and struck out four — gave Hilo a chance to rest its other pitchers as it gears up for games with two of the other top teams (Arizona and Southern California) in its pool at the Little League tournament for ages 15-16. The game ended in the bottom of the fifth because of the league’s 10-run mercy rule.
“Kobi saved my other arms,” Higa said. “He did a real good job.”
Credit Alika Guillermo with a save of sorts as well. Guillermo finished 2-for-2, including a walk-off RBI in the bottom of the fifth to help Hilo (2-0) finish early in an afternoon affair with temperatures in the 90s.
“We wanted to beat the heat and get out of there,” Higa said. “We were still stealing in the fifth because I wanted to get the kids out of the heat.”
Ryan Torres-Torioka was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, Tyler Thornley went 2-for-3 and Chad Teshima added a double.
Hilo is the defending World Series champion, but only two players are back from last year’s team.
Shaun Costello took the loss for Montana, which has been outscored 39-5 in its three losses.
Higa said his most pleasant surprise so far at the tournament has been his team’s fielding. Including a 13-3 victory against Nevada (0-1) on Tuesday, Hilo has yet to make an error.
“Our composure has been good,” Higa said. “I believe in my team.
“We went to the mall on the first day we were here, but other than that it’s been all business.”
Today, Hilo will play an important game against Arizona (1-1) under the lights followed by a contest against undefeated Southern California on Sunday.
On Thursday, Southern California (2-0) thumped Arizona 9-0.
The top two teams from the pool advance to the semifinals.
Montana 000 00 — 0 0 0
Hilo 014 23 — 10 9 0