Pacifica American suffered its first loss of the postseason, falling 10-5 to Hawaii in the opening game of the Western Region Little League Tournament Friday in San Bernardino.
After the first inning, Pacifica looked to be in control, rallying for a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame by virtue of three hits. Cruise Thompson led off the game with an infield single and later scored on a double by Christian Falk. Falk later scored on a single by Justice Turner.
However, Hawaii answer back with six runs in the top of the second and led the rest of the way. Hawaii scored three more in the fourth inning and one in the fifth to extend its lead to 10-2.
Pacifica scored two in the fifth, once again relying on the spark of Thompson. The lefty doubled to open the frame. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Thompson scored on an RBI groundout by Elijah Ricks. After Falk reached on an infield single with two outs, Turner drove him home with a triple. The three-bagger stands as the first triple of the postseason for Pacifica.
However, what Hawaii did — which no other team has managed to do through Pacifica’s 12 straight wins entering into play Friday — was keep the green-and-gold in the yard. After clubbing 44 home runs through its previous 12 games, Pacifica settled for three doubles and Turner’s triple in the extra-base-hit department.
Pacifica had eight hits in the game, with multi-hit performances by Thompson, Falk and Turner, who tabbed two hits apiece.
Pacifica utilized five pitchers in the game — Ricks, Thompson, Falk, Chris Rodriguez and Andrew Harkness — keeping each of them under the 35-pitch cap to allow for them all to be available Saturday. Harkness ate up two innings to close it out, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four.
Continuing round-robin play Saturday, Pacifica matches up with Arizona at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Pacifica will take on Southern California at 7 p.m. Round-robin play concludes Tuesday with Pacifica playing Nevada at 11 a.m. All round-robin games will be broadcast on ESPN3.
After round-robin play between the six-team field concludes, the four teams with the best records in Western Region play will advance to the Aug. 8 semifinals. The championship game is slated for Aug. 9 at 6 p.m.