HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Little League team advanced to the 2021 Little League World Series with a 13-3 mercy rule victory over Northern California’s Petaluma Little League in the West regional on Thursday.
Due to the nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Little League World Series will not feature any international teams. All eight U.S. regions will send two teams each. Honolulu sealed its spot in the field with Thursday’s victory and will play the winner of Friday’s Northern California-Southern California matchup on Saturday for seeding purposes.
All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station
Honolulu’s victory on Thursday means that a Hawaii-based team will represent the West region for the third Little League World Series in a row. Honolulu Little League won the LLWS in 2018, while Central East Maui Little League was the U.S. runner-up in 2019. A World Series was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 Little League World Series runs from Aug. 19-29 in Williamsport, Pa.
“Really proud of them. They worked hard for this,” HLL manager Bud Sardinha told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “Especially after the year off with the pandemic. Coming back, being resilient, it’s been awesome to see them drive themselves to this point.
“They really bond well. The players get along well, the families actually bond well. I think that’s pretty key. Everybody on this team plays a role and that’s what we are very fortunate to have. Everybody can fill in wherever we need. That’s why we got our motto, we got your back. They just back each other up when we need.”