Hilo 13-14 PONY All-Stars Win World Series
The Hilo PONY All-Stars weren’t planning to let its second consecutive trip to the PONY World Series end without a championship.
Thanks to five early runs and an 11-strikeout performance from Joey Jarneski, Hilo captured the PONY World Series in Washington, Penn., defeating Taoyuan County of Chinese Taipei by the final score of 5-3.
“We always preach that we have to get ahead and stay ahead, so we just came off aggressive off the bat, looked for fastballs that they are taught to look for, and just hit ’em,” said head coach Stacey Jarneski.
Joey Jarneski wasted little time in getting his team on the scoreboard, cranking a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to put Hilo up 1-0. Jaisten Cabatbat followed with a double and later scored on an error.
With two out, Eric Riveira added to the highlight reel, blasting a solo home run of his own to cap a three-run first inning for the Big Island representatives.
Jarneski helped his own cause in the second inning, drilling a two-run double to score Kahale Huddleston Jr. and Dallas Duarte to put Hilo up 5-0 after two innings.
Jarneski worked out of a little bit of trouble, giving a run back in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth, but with the tying run at the plate and a man on at first in the seventh inning, he pulled through, inducing a ground ball out to end the game.
The elder Jarneksi, who has coached his last year with the Pony squad, credits his defense for its stellar work throughout the series.
“Our pitching was good, but we induced a lot of ground balls, so our defense was flawless,” Jarneski explained. “We were just a well-rounded team. Everybody did exactly what they had to do when they had to do it.”
Hilo went 4-0 in the tournament, which was played at Lew Hays Pony Field. They outscored their opponents 24-6 in the tournament.
What did the champions do first to celebrate after the usual ceremonial mob on the field?
“We decided that the kids rarely see the parents, so no matter win or lose, we booked TGI Fridays,” Jarneski said. “We rented out the place and invited all of the parents to come and have dinner with us. Winning just helped out that dinner a lot.”
Jarneski noted that he and his coaching staff decided that every member of the team would travel with the coaching staff from the beginning of their baseball journey on July 28. That meant that each player’s parents got limited quality time with their kids, making the post-game dinner that much more memorable.
The Hilo squad will arrive at the Hilo International Airport Friday at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Members of the Hilo All-Stars are Dallas Duarte, Joseph Jarneski, Jaisten Cabatbat, Trayden Tamiya, Reese Mondina, David Nakamura, Micah Bello, Ryan Ragual, Kahale Huddleston Jr., Eric Riveira, Bryce Furuli, Samuel Kahapea, Curren Inouye, Zachary Riveira, and Noah Kalaola-Richardson.
Assisting Jarneski on the coaching staff was Troy Tamiya, Duke Waiki, and Darren Tagawa.
Taoyuan County 000 102 0 – 3 5 2
Hilo 320 000 x – 5 7 1