14 years ago, two of my classmates in the Waipio Little League won the 2008 Little League World Series (West Oahu Little League won their first ever trophy in 2005). The Honolulu Little League earned the title back after a 3-0 sweep against South Korea in 2018 and yesterday, they added their fourth ever world honor in 17 years (the second in four years for the Honolulu Little League team) on a 13-3 victory over the Pabao Little League from Curaçao at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in Williamsport, Pa. for the 2022 Little League World Series title. Adding a fourth World Championship ties Hawaiʻi for the second-most titles of any “state” in the US. The Honolulu team representing the West started off the tournament by defeating Washington (11-1) in round one, New York (12-0) in round two, Texas (6-0) in the quarterfinals, Tennessee (13-0) in semis, and Tennessee again (5-1) in the final round before facing Curaçao in the 2022 Little League World Series championship.
Honolulu General Manager Gerald Oda said, “We’re fortunate that everything clicked at the right moment. I’m very grateful that these kids played loose and relaxed. After 2018, I thought the next time I came to Williamsport was going to be as a spectator. I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d be back in 2022 coaching a team.” Although Oda, who also managed the world championship 2018 team, missed several LLWS games due to COVID-19, the Honolulu boys clearly didn’t struggle without their fearless leader.
Every world series-winning Hawaiʻi team has been extraordinary in their own way, but this 2022 Little League world championship squad is somehow even better than those before. The team outscored their opponents 60-5 with four of their six victories coming from mercy rule or “Run Rule,” which according to NBC Sports, states that “If at the end of three innings, or two and one-half innings if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of 15 or more runs, the manager of the team with fewer runs will concede the victory to the winning team. If at the end of four innings, or three and one-half innings if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of 10 or more runs, the manager of the team with fewer runs will concede the victory to the winning team.”