Oahu takes Mexico's crown, 1-0

Streak of two Ripken titles ends on Hawaiian 1-hitter


August 22, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Best-laid plans rarely become reality in youth championship games, but for Oahu, Hawaii, manager Gerald Oda, his coaching staff and players, dreams do come true.

Mexico's three-year, 20-game winning streak and two titles came to a slow end yesterday as three Oahu pitchers used a lot of slow breaking stuff to strike out 15 batters and edge Mexico, 1-0, in the Cal Ripken 12-and-under World Series final in Aberdeen. The title game was played before more than 5,000 at Cal Sr.'s Yard.

Oda played all 14 of his players and used all three of the pitchers who got his team there and won.

"I made a promise to our kids that this would be an experience none of them would ever forget," Oda said. "It was unbelievable for the kids this entire experience and we can thank Cal and Billy [Ripken] for a good part of it."

Kalani Lagoc Crawford, who homered in the seventh inning Saturday to give Oahu a 1-0 win over Southeast Lexington (Ky.) for the U.S. championship, was last night's winning pitcher and again drove in the winning run.

Crawford doubled after Ryan Yamane's double in the second inning for the game's only run off Mexico starter and loser Axel Rios. Rios was replaced by Gustavo Dominguez in the second inning. Dominguez threw the final 3 1/3 innings, finishing with seven strikeouts.

Dominguez, who was the winner in the International final on Saturday, 1-0, over the Dominican Republic, pitched 15 1/3 innings in the series. He gave up one hit, no runs and struck out a series-record 39.

Crawford went the first four innings, giving up Mexico's only hit - a double by Francisco Maturin in the second - walked two in the fourth and struck out 11 before retiring.

"I got a little tired, but I could have gone another inning if I had to," Crawford said. "My slow curve was working really good. It feels good to win it."

Jordan Deponte worked the fifth inning for Hawaii, retiring three in a row and striking out one and Kewby Meyer threw the final inning, striking out the side.

"Kalani really battled through four innings for us, Deponte did the job in relief again and Kewby closed it out on fire," Oda said.

Mexico manager Bernardo Tapai and his assistant coach and interpreter Anwar Perez agreed that "Hawaii has a great team and deserved to win. We feel very sad, but this gives us a challenge for next year," Perez said.

NOTES: Swimmer Michael Phelps threw out the first pitch along with gymnast Dominique Dawes and former Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter. ... Fans were sitting on the hills down the foul lines and behind the outfield fence with all the seats in the stands taken.

Mexico 000 000 - 0 1 0

Oahu 010 00x - 1 3 1

Rios, Dominguez (2) and Islava, Mendoza (5); Crawford, Deponte (5), Meyer (6) and Kalohelani. 2B: M-Maturin; O-Crawford, Yamane.

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