Little League championship team managed by UH alumnus
The Honolulu team won the 2022 Little League World Series (LLWS) league match, 13-3, against Curaçao, August 28 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The team leader, Gerald Odais a university in 1997 Hawaii in Mānoa graduated in political science. Oda was also the manager when his Honolulu team won the LLWS championship in 2018.
After the 2022 victory, Oda said he was “extremely blessed and grateful for this opportunity”.
“After 2018, [I thought] the next time I come to Williamsport it will be as a spectator, supporting another team. We’re lucky to have had some great kids in our league this year. It’s a long journey. It goes from districts, to regionals and here, and anything can happen. As we progressed the kids really started to gel and play well together. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be back in 2022 coaching a team,” Oda said.
Oda’s team dominated their opponents in the LLWS, 60-5, in six games. The West Region champions defeated Southeast Region representative Nolensville, Tennessee, 5-1, in the United States Championship on August 27, which propelled them into the LLWS final.
uh Baseball Head Coach rich hill said: “What these kids and coaches have achieved is unreal! Teamwork and the spirit of Aloha on display is what youth sports is all about. Their achievement represents a passionate baseball community here in Hawaii!”
The 2022 championship marked the fourth LLWS victory of a team Hawaii. The `Ewa The beach team won the title in 2005 and the Waipio The team won the championship in 2008. Players on these teams included former Rainbow Warrior baseball players Kaeo Aliviado (2005, `Ewa range) and Jedd Andrade (2008, Waipio).
“[This year’s team members] are the rockstars of this year’s Little League World Series tournament. They are the face of Little League Baseball,” Aliviado said. “To see them compete and see them dominate is quite unreal. Whether it’s hitting, throwing or playing defense, they pretty much have the package. That’s hard to come by as a team of the Little League, a 12-year-old team that dominates like that.
Like the team of 2022, Aliviado `Ewa The beach team beat Curaçao in the final, 7-6.
“The love that the small town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania gives you — it really feeds into your energy,” Aliviado said. “Once you set foot on that ground, you really reached the promised land as a 12-year-old in the Little League World Series. You are playing on the biggest stage of this tournament. you will be sure ESPN every day. They just treat you like professional rockstars.
Aliviado added, “You never know what other states might bring, but we always know that Hawaii will bring something special every time we have the chance to go to Williamsport.