So much for having to rely on pitching, timely hitting and small-ball.
The Hilo Pony 13s were strong in all three of those facets again Friday, but they also broke out the big bats in a 14-4 victory that has the all-star baseball team sitting pretty on its side of the bracket at the PONY West Zone tournament in Whittier, Calif.
“The bats came alive and it was real nice to see,” coach Shon Malani said of the win against Foster, Calif.
Kolten McCallum pitched six strong innings and Legend Lancaster came through with three hits, three RBIs and closed out Hilo’s second win in as many days with an inning pitched.
It will play either Foster or Eastlake, Calif., the team Hilo beat on Thursday, again under the lights Saturday for the chance to reach the title game.
McCallum earned the victory, but Malani also gave him credit for a “save.”
Throwing 92 pitches, “He saved our bullpen,” Malani said.
Shane Sale-Silva, Thursday’s winner, and Isaiah Justo also collected three hits apiece, and Kaohu Kawelu and Liwai Correa each had two as Hilo overcame a 3-0 deficit.
“We bunted and stole a lot of bases to get back in the game,” Malani said, “and after that we started hitting the ball.”
In Walnut, Calif., Kamren Agpalza had a big day at the plate, going 4 for 4 with three RBIs, and the Hilo Bronco 11 All-Stars rebounded to beat Roseville, Calif., 8-6 at West Zone.
“They made some pride for Hawaii,” coach Gavien DeMello said.
Talus Sato pitched three innings, allowing a run with two strikeouts, and Nathaniel Freeman provided two strong innings of relief, striking out three, as Roseville started to come back from an 8-1 deficit.
Payten Remmers-Alameda drove in three runs for Hilo, and Kaleb Wada was 2 for 4.
On Saturday, Hilo plays East Long Beach in an elimination that is a rematch of Thursday’s opener, which Long Beach won 9-3 in extra innings. The winner plays undefeated Placentia later Saturday.
“They were real hungry today,” DeMello said. “They came out with a lot of fire.”
Also in Walnut, the Hilo Mustang 9s lost 9-8 and were eliminated from West Zone.
• Little League
Honolulu edged Ewa Beach, Oahu, 1-0 in Naalehu, and will face West Side at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the state Little League Majors (12-under) tournament.
Also, Maui beat Kauai 12-0 in four innings and will play again Sunday. Kauai and Ewa Beach play an elimination game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.