Phillip Grace had a home run, two doubles and three RBIs for Kona Coast, which stayed alive in the District III Little League majors tournament with a 25-2 win over Hamakua Saturday at Honokaa’s Parks and Recreation complex.
Kona Coast will play Hilo at 11 a.m. today in the first of a possible two championship games in the double-elimination tournament for players ages 11-12.
Hilo, which hasn’t lost in the tournament, can claim the title with a victory. If Kona Coast wins, another game between the teams will follow and decide the District III crown.
The District III champion will represent the Big Island at the state majors tournament, which takes place July 21-28 on Maui.
Grace stood out against Hamakua, but he received plenty of help from his Kona Coast teammates.
Andrew Udac piled up four hits, while Tristan D’Aguiar (two doubles) and Kaehu Kuahnia (triple, single) each drove in a run for Kona Coast in a game that ended after four innings because of the tournament’s 10-run mercy rule.
Dustin Cho went the distance to earn the win and eliminate Hamakua. He scattered five hits and struck out five.
Micah Miranda took the loss for Hamakua, striking out two batters in 2 2⁄3 innings.
Miranda drove in one of Hamakua’s two runs with an RBI single in the third inning. Kolten Carvalho had two singles, while Josiah Rodrigues and Skye Paglinawan each had one.
Earlier in the day, Hilo defeated Hamakua 19-4, getting solo home runs from Nathan Minami, Aidan Ah Hee and Eric Riveira in a 14-run second inning.
After hitting his home run, Minami added a two-run triple in the second and finished with three hits. Riveira had a run-scoring double, and Ah Hee also doubled.
Luke Urada pitched three innings to get the victory, allowing four runs on four hits while striking out three.
Kyler Shigematsu, who pitched the first inning, took the loss for Hamakua.
At the plate, Hamakua’s Micah Mendes had an RBI double, while Paglinawan, Gene Ansagay and Rodrigues added one hit apiece.
Kona Coast 784 6 — 25
Hamakua 101 0 — 2
Hilo 5(14)0 0 — 19
Hamakua 103 0 — 4
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