The Nolensville Little League team (pictured) from Nolensville, Tenn., will take on Honolulu in the U.S. Final of the 2022 Little League World Series on Saturday in Williamsport, Pa. Photo courtesy of Little League International
Aug. 26 (UPI) — The Honolulu Little League will represent the West Region against a Nolensville, Tenn., team from the Southeast Region in the U.S. Final of the 2022 Little League World Series on Saturday in Williamsport, Pa.
The winner of that game will meet the winner of the International Final — teams from the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific regions — in the 2022 Little League World Series Championship on Sunday in Williamsport.
The International finale will air at 12:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on ABC.
“This feels amazing,” Nolensville pitcher-infielder Drew Chadwick told reporters Thursday at a news conference. “It’s kinda hard to believe that in the whole world, we are one of the best four teams. It’s awesome.”
Honolulu will face Nolensville at 3:30 p.m. on the same channel.
The tournament finale will air at 3 p.m. Sunday on ABC. The third-place game, featuring the losers of the semifinal games, will air at 10 a.m. Sunday on ESPN.
Honolulu beat Nolensville 13-0 on Wednesday in the double-elimination tournament. The Hawaiian team also beat Bonney Lake, Wash., Massapequa, N.Y., and Pearland, Texas, to advance to the U.S. finale.
Nolensville beat Middleboro, Mass., Santa Clara, Utah, Hagerstown, Ind., and Pearland to advance.
“They beat us so bad last time that there is nobody expecting us to win,” Nolensville coach Randy Huth said. “Those guys might not be able to be beat. Who knows? But if they can, somebody has gotta do it. If they are beatable, why not it be by us?”
Honolulu pitchers Jonnovyn Sniffen and Luke Hiromoto combined to allow just two hits and issued five strikeouts and one walk in Wednesday’s four-inning win over Nolensville.
Outfielder/pitcher Cohen Sakamoto went 2 for 2 with two home runs and five RBIs in that victory. Outfielder/pitcher Ruston Hiyoto and infielder/pitcher Daly Watson also drove in two runs apiece for Honolulu.
“We’ve been stressing to our kids: Some days you are doing to do great and some days you are going to have a bad day,” Honolulu manager Gerald Oda said Wednesday. “Whether you are the starting pitcher or the guy coming off the bench, you are just as important. We all have a role together.”
Nolensville beat Pearland 7-1 on Thursday to advance to the semifinal. Chadwick allowed six hits and one run and tossed six strikeouts over six innings to earn that win.
First baseman Wright Martin and outfielder Josiah Porter each recorded two hits for Nolensville. Porter hit a grand slam in the victory. Catcher/pitcher Jack Rhodes is another key player for Nolensville.
Nearly 1,000 baseball and softball players, aged 10 to 16, from 78 teams competed in the respective Little League World Series tournaments, which started at the end of July. Midway Little League from Hewitt, Texas, beat a team from Delmar, Md., 5-4 in the softball finale Aug. 15 in Greenville, N.C.