Little League World Series 2018: Hawaii advances to championship game with 3-0 win over Georgia

Starting pitcher Aukai Kea #23 of the West Region from Hawaii celebrates getting the final out during their 3-0 win over the Southeast Team of Georgia during the U.S. Championship game of the Little League World Series at Lamade Stadium on August 25, 2018 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania (Getty Images)

Led by a masterful pitching performance from Aukai Kea, Hawaii’s Honolulu Little League advanced to the Little League World Series championship game with a 3-0 over Georgia’s Peachtree City American Little League. 

Kea hurled a shutout and was overpowering in the process. In 81 pitches, he struck out 15 while surrendering just three hits and a walk. 

The game was a pitcher’s duel through a scoreless three innings. Hawaii scored its first run in the fourth when John De la Cruz drove in Hunter Nishina from second with a single. 

Hawaii added to its lead with a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bruce Boucher tripled home Sean Yamaguchi with two outs, then Jace Souza then drove in pinch runner John De la Cruz. 

Connor Riggs-Soper took the loss for Georgia, giving up three runs, six hits and three walks. He struck out five in 4 2/3 innings after 86 pitches. 

Hawaii moves on to face South Seoul Little League in the championship game at 3 p.m. ET. Georgia and Japan’s Kawaguchi Little League will face off in the consolation game earlier in the day at 10 a.m. 

LLWS 2018: Bracket, scores, schedule, how to watch live

Hawaii vs. Georgia: Updates, highlights

Hawaii 3, Georgia 0, FINAL

T6:  Hawaii is through to the championship game after Kea shuts the door on Georgia to complete a 3-0 shutout. His final line: 15 strikeouts, three hits and one walk in 81 pitches. Pure domination. 

B5: Hawaii adds a pair of insurance runs when Bruce Boucher triples home Sean Yamaguchi. Jace Souza then drives in De la Cruz. Hawaii is three outs away from a matchup with South Korea in Sunday’s championship game. 

T5: Very quick 1-2-3 inning for Kea, who has struck out 12. At 68 pitches after five innings, he’s on pace to finish it off before reaching the 85-pitch limit. 

B4: Hawaii gets on the board first with a John De la Cruz singles that drives in Hunter Nishina from second. Zachary Won lines out to end the inning after a sensational catch in center field by Bo Walker. 

T4: Kea has been overpowering through four with 10 strikeouts. At 59 pitches, he’s in good shape as both pitchers approach the 85-pitch limit. Riggs-Soper is at 54 pitches heading into the bottom of the fourth. 

B3 : Hawaii gets its leadoff man on but turns a nice double play to end the threat. It’s a pitcher’s duel halfway through the game. That’s if this game ends in six, of course. When these two played each other on Aug. 17, it took 11 innings for Hawaii to win. 

T3:  Kea has been dominant, putting another ‘0’ on the board. In three innings, he’s stuck out seven and walked just one in 42 pitches. 

B2:  Hawaii strands runners on first and second as Riggs-Soper continues to battle. 

T2: Chase Fralick gets Georgia’s first hit of the game, roping a single to left field. But Kea strikes out the next hitter and Hawaii turns a smooth 5-4-3 double play to keep it scoreless.

Bottom of the 1st: Hawaii gets runners on second and third but Riggs-Soper gets out of it. Scoreless after one. 

Top of the 1st: Kea is looking sharp early on and strikes out the side in 15 pitches. Hawaii up to bat now. 

3:30 p.m. — Hawaii’s ace Aukai Kea will start for West, while Connor Riggs-Soper gets the start for Southeast. Hawaii will be the home team today.