Massapequa Coast blasted by Honolulu in Little League World Series opener – New York Post

Massapequa Coast blasted by Honolulu in Little League World Series opener - New York Post

The Massapequa Coast Little League team was shown no mercy — at least until the end — by its opponent in its Little League World Series opener Friday night in South Williamsport, Pa.

Honolulu Little League started the game with a literal explosion and threw a combined no-hitter in a 12-0 drubbing of the Long Island club.

The game ended in a mercy rule after the fifth inning, when Honolulu scored in each frame.

Massapequa Coast fans look on sadly during their 12-0 mercy-rule loss to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Massapequa Coast fans look on sadly during their 12-0 mercy-rule loss to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Douglas Healey
Honolulu's Keko Payanal rounds first after hitting a two-run home run off Massapequa, NY's Danny Fregara (5) during the fourth inning Friday night.
Honolulu’s Keko Payanal rounds first after hitting a two-run home run off Massapequa’s Danny Fregara (5) in the fourth inning.
AP

“The kids are obviously disappointed, right,” Massapequa manager Roland Clark told The Post after the outing. “But the look I got in the dugout from the kids is that they don’t want to go home. I told them: “When you leave this stage, you will meet your parents, friends and family. This game is done. We just have to prepare for Sunday’s game.’ “

Massapequa will play its next game in the double-elimination tournament Sunday (2 p.m., ABC) against the winner of Saturday night’s matchup between the teams from Hollidaysburg, Pa., and Middleboro, Mass. Honolulu will rest until Monday night. , when it faces the team from Pearland, Texas.

On Friday, Honolulu’s leadoff hitter, shortstop Kekoa Payanal, smacked pitcher Joey Lionetti’s third pitch of the game over the left-field wall for a home run, giving his squad a quick 1-0 lead.

In the second inning, first baseman Tau Purcell drove home Cohen Sakamoto with an RBI single to give Hawaii a 2-0 advantage.

Initially, Massapequa held off a potential offensive attack with decent outfield defense. Going into the third inning, they replaced their ace, Lionetti, on the mound with Danny Fregara, in the first of three pitching changes. It was a rough night for Lionetti, who threw a no-hitter in a 4-0 win over Toms River East last Friday to carry Massapequa into the Little League World Series.

Honolulu star pitcher Jaron Lancaster had seven strikeouts in just three innings before he gave way to Sakamoto, who ended the game.

Lancaster led off the third inning with a home run over the center field wall making it 3-0.

Honolulu added three more runs in the fourth. Payanal connected for his second home run, a two-run shot. Lancaster tripled to deep center, then scored on a wild pitch to make the score 6-0.

In the top of the fifth, Lancaster drove in a run on a sacrifice fly as the Honolulu bullpen added six more runs, saying aloha for the night.

Massapequa Coast manager Roland Clark talks to his team after their 12-0 penalty-regulation loss to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Massapequa Coast manager Roland Clark talks to his team after their 12-0 penalty-regulation loss to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Douglas Healey

The devastating loss underscored Clark’s central philosophy of the season: developing a thick skin through adversity.

“We’ve been working on mental preparation this season, making sure they know how to take the good with the bad,” Clark said. “We took lessons from every failure, and it made us stronger.”

Honolulu's Jaron Lancaster, right, circles first after hitting a solo home run off Massapequa, NY's Danny Fregara (5) during the third inning Friday night.
Honolulu’s Jaron Lancaster, right, passes first after hitting a solo home run off Massapequa’s Danny Fregara (5) during the third inning.
AP

Clark, who said his squad needs to come out with more aggression at the plate Sunday, also tipped his cap to Honolulu.

“The two pitchers for Hawaii were up there in speed. [The team] has this reputation. Everyone around campus is talking about them. The boys say ‘Wow, we got beat by a better team tonight.’ “

The manager added that incidents at this year’s tournament, such as Utah’s Easton Oliverson suffering a head injury after falling off his floor, put the outcome into perspective.

“We don’t make excuses. We will work on the positives,” said Clark. “We will have a slight advantage that the team we are going to face will be playing on Saturday.

“At the end of the day, it’s just a baseball game.”

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