Four Lahaina players on Maui PONY Baseball All-Star Team
The Maui PONY Baseball All-Stars came within one win of a world championship last year, falling to Chinese Taipei in the final.
Now, the Valley Isle team of 13- and 14-year-olds is in the hunt once again, as they raced to the Hawaii PONY state championship a month ago at CORP Field on Oahu to advance to the Regional Playoffs coming up next week in Mountain View, California, on Aug. 3-6.
The Maui PONY All-Stars are coached by Craig Okita, Dean Yamashita and Trevor Tokishi. The team roster includes Kealan Yagi, Tiger Caulford, Adam Yamashita, Isaiah Kekahuna, Isaiah Souza, Reyn Okita, Dawson Toshiki, Haku Dudoit, Lee Souza, Jared Harper, Jensen Chong and four Lahaina-grown players: Kamu Kanaha, Anu McCabe, Ross Panlasigui and Ben Ziegler.
The PONY Baseball World Series will be played Aug. 11-16 in Pennsylvania, and head coach Okita said his squad will rely on solid defense and its ability to score runs in many ways.
“We can hit for power, but we are also smart and quick on bases, so we will be able to score in many different ways. We have 15 players on our roster, and we will definitely be looking for all of them to contribute – and especially the four Lahaina boys.
“We’ve received tremendous support from local businesses, all of the families, and this has made it possible for us to reach this level of success. We’ve been practicing every day for months to prepare for these moments. It’s been a grind,” concluded Coach Okita.