West Oahu wins U.S. title, will play for world crown
The Hawaiian team will play either Japan or Curacao today for the title.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Vonn Fe'ao has quite a story to tell his friends when he gets back home.
Fe'ao escaped a bases-loaded jam with a double play in the top of the fifth inning, then sealed the game with a homer in the bottom of the inning as West Oahu of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, advanced to the title game of the Little League World Series with a 6-1 victory over Rancho Buena Vista of Vista, Calif.
West Oahu (5-0) won the U.S. crown and will play the title game today against the winner of Saturday night's international championship game between Japan and Curacao.
Fe'ao, who was playing third base, entered the game as a reliever with one out and runners on second and third and hit the first batter he faced, Nathan Lewis, to load the bases.
But Fe'ao got the next hitter, slugger Kalen Pimentel, to pop weakly to shortstop. Kini Enos then threw to second to easily get pinch-runner Dylan Demeyer, who was caught too far off base, ending the threat from Rancho Buena Vista (4-1).
In the bottom of the fifth, Fe'ao hit his high shot that landed beyond the hedges in left field.
Which moment was bigger, Vonn?
"Getting out of the jam," Fe'ao, 12, said.
What did he feel?
"Relief," he answered, allowing a momentary grin.
His manager, Layton Aliviado, later piped in and showed a little more emotion.
"We're happy. We don't show it, but we're happy," said Aliviado, smiling.
Groundout ends game
Rancho Buena Vista's Daniel Gibney grounded out to second to end the game. After the final out, first baseman Layson Aliviado -- the manager's son -- gripped the ball in his glove and raised his hands in jubilation.
Teammates raised their index fingers in the air to signal "No. 1."
"I just have faith in these boys. We came and said our prayers," Layton Aliviado said.
California and Hawaii had just two hits in the game, and Hawaii has just three hits over its last two games.
But two of those hits are homers, including Fe'ao's blast on Saturday.
Rancho Buena Vista threatened in the fifth inning after Gibney tripled into the right-field corner, then later slid home safely on a wild pitch.