Hawaii beats Curaçao to win 2022 Little League World Series title

Hawaii beats Curaçao to win 2022 Little League World Series title originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Little League World Series title is headed to Honolulu.

Hawaii capped off a dominant performance in Williamsport, Pa., by beating Curaçao 13-3 in Sunday’s championship game. The victory gives Hawaii its fourth championship all-time, putting it in a tie for the second-most of any U.S. state. It is also the second championship for Honolulu, which also came out on top in 2018.

Hawaii didn’t get the start it wanted to open the championship game, allowing a run five pitches into the game. Curaçao’s Davey-Jay Rijke hit a leadoff double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and crossed home on a wild pitch from Hawaii starter Jaron Lancaster that shattered the backstop camera:

The run was the third that Hawaii had allowed in Williamsport and put the team in its first deficit of the tournament.

Hawaii got out of that deficit in the blink of an eye. Kekoa Payanal and Kama Angell crushed back-to-back home runs to open the bottom of the first:

The two Hawaii hitters added RBIs in the bottom of the second. Payanal got his on a sacrifice fly, and Angell roped a single to center to drive in another run. Lancaster kept things going and helped his own cause with an RBI single to left field that put Hawaii up 5-1.

Hawaii continued to break the game open in the third. A hit-by-pitch forced in one run, and Angell added to his RBI total with a three-run double to give his team a 9-1 lead. Ruston Hiyoto came up later in the inning and extended the lead to 11 runs with another three-run double. 

In accordance with Little League’s “Run Rule,” a home team with a double-digit lead through three-and-a-half innings is declared a winner. Curaçao kept the game going when Jaythan Cordilia hit a two-out, two-run single that moved the score to 12-3 in the top of the fourth.

Hawaii quickly ended things in the bottom of the fourth, though. Two of the first three batters walked, with the other flying out to center field. Then, Angell finished off his dominant day. On a 3-2 count, he ripped a line drive down the left field line and easily scored the runner from second to end the game.

In all, Hawaii outscored its opponents 60-5 at the 2022 Little League World Series. It started off the tournament with an 11-1 win over Washington, 12-0 win over New York and 6-0 win over Texas. The team crushed Tennessee 13-0 to reach the U.S. title game and beat Tennessee again by a score of 5-1 on Saturday to earn its spot in Sunday’s championship. Four of Hawaii’s six games in Williamsport ended early due to the Run Rule.

Curaçao had to overcome an early loss to reach the LLWS championship game. After beating Nicaragua in its first game, Curaçao fell to Panama in its second contest. The team from Willemstad fended off elimination by picking up five straight wins over Italy, Canada, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chinese-Taipei, to set up its matchup with Hawaii.

Curaçao has one LLWS title in its history with Willemstad winning it all in 2004.