S-B BASEBALL TOP 10 POLL
Iolani gets to No. 1 with 12-inning win
It took just one night for voters to change their minds about two-time defending state champion Punahou.
In the aftermath of Iolani's stunning 9-6, 12-inning win over the Buffanblu on Saturday, the panel of coaches and media voted Iolani to a No. 1 ranking in the first Star-Bulletin Baseball Top 10 poll of the season.
"There is a lot of parity in the ILH," longtime Raiders coach Dean Yonamine said yesterday. He's hopeful that the league will regain a second state-tournament berth this year. The Big Island Interscholastic Federation could lose a berth because three teams dropped out of the schedule at the last minute.
"Shucks, I hope we get back that second spot. Tell you the truth, any one of the seven of us would do well (at the state tourney)," Yonamine said.
The Raiders (11-2) are off to a 2-0 start in the always-difficult ILH. Punahou is a close second, but only one other team from the league is in the Top 10.
"Pac-Five picked up a couple of good Maryknoll players," Yonamine said.
Maryknoll's program disbanded in the off-season.
Pac-Five, which upset Kamehameha 4-3 on Saturday, landed at No. 6. Now, the Wolfpack are a force in a league studded with powerhouses. "It's a testament to the coaches in the ILH. They work hard in the offseason, with summer leagues," Yonamine said.
Four Oahu Interscholastic Association squads are in the Top 10, led by Kaiser at No. 3.
"We played Pearl City twice, Kaiser, Kailua and Mililani," Yonamine said. "All four are awesome. They're well-coached with experienced players. They deserve to be recognized, and I'm sure there are teams we haven't played that deserve it, too."
Kailua isn't ranked, but the pattern is in place. Every year, the Surfriders battle through nonconference play with an unremarkable record before peaking late in the season.