Tate Fernandez pitched a complete game, and Phillip Grace’s three-run double in the sixth inning provided some much-needed breathing room Friday at Oahu’s Hans L’Orange Field as North Hawaii defeated Central Maui 8-3 in the first round of the Junior League state tournament.
The ages 13-14 four-team Little League Baseball tournament continues through Monday.
North Hawaii will play Pearl City at 2 p.m. today, with the winner playing at 3 p.m. Monday in the first of two possible championship games. The state champion advances to the West Regional tournament, which takes place Aug. 2-7 in Vancouver, Wash.
On Friday, Fernandez scattered five hits, walking two and striking out four.
Central Maui pulled within 4-3 with two runs in the top of the sixth, but Grace’s bases-loaded double and Caden Perreira-Lau’s run-scoring single allowed North Hawaii to pull away.
Perreira-Lau, Hunter Cuaresma and Jonah Hurney each went 2-for-3, and Bostan Cabarloc-Abilay added a single.
Hurney’s two-run single in the bottom of the fourth broke a 1-1 tie, putting North Hawaii ahead to stay.
Cuaresma followed with an RBI single in the fifth inning, and Fernandez added a run-scoring double.
Central Maui 001 002 0 — 3 5 0
North Hawaii 100 214 x — 8 9 0