HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mid-Pacific's Russell Doi threw to first after forcing out Damien's Kai Higa at second base in the fourth inning.
MPI nudges past Cuizon, Damien
Freshman pitcher Matthew McDaniel notches the victory as the Owls prepare for Iolani next
The third time was supposed to be the charm for Damien ace Robert Cuizon.
Instead, Mid-Pacific overcame one of Cuizon's best performances of the season with two unearned runs for a 3-1 win over the Monarchs last night at Aloha Stadium.
Adam Tamashiro sparked the Owls offense, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
It was the third time Cuizon lost a heart-breaking decision to the Owls this year.
"It's frustrating, but I keep it inside. I don't let it bother me," he said. "But we can beat 'em. They're beatable."
Beatable or not, the Owls advanced in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu tournament and will meet No. 2 seed Iolani, which got past Saint Louis yesterday, 7-5.
Mid-Pac, now 7-6 in ILH play, will meet Iolani tomorrow at Aloha Stadium at 7 p.m.
"I'm happy that we won. I don't care if it's by one run or 10 runs," Owls coach Dunn Muramaru said. "At tournament time, you can't be thinking about how you win. You just gotta win."
Damien, 3-10 in league play, will meet Saint Louis tomorrow at Iolani in an elimination battle. The double-elimination format means the Monarchs will have their backs to the wall, but they wasted a quality start by Cuizon. The junior allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two in six innings.
MPI hurler Matthew McDaniel, however, was equally effective. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound freshman scattered five hits, fanned four and walked one en route to the win.
"Everything was working," McDaniel said, referring to his fastball, slider and curve. "I hit my spots and changed speeds. Without our defense, though, we'd lose."
His defense didn't commit an error, but Muramaru credited his young ace and the coaching staff for building his success.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mid-Pacific's Russell Doi slid safe into second as Damien's Travis Derby threw to first.
"He's gained more confidence. That's the most important thing for a freshman," he said.
Mid-Pacific got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third when Alan Sunada singled, stole second and came home on Tamashiro's single to center.
In the fourth, Damien's defense committed the first of two costly errors. Michael Nagamine, who reached base on a fielder's choice, came home to score when a sacrifice bunt by Todd Nagamine led to a throwing error.
Damien's woes increased in the fifth frame when Chad Takabuki reached base on an infield error and came in to score on a single to center by Tamashiro.
Damien managed to break its scoring drought in the top of the sixth. Kyle Higa led off with a double, and T.J. Esclito's single to left brought home courtesy runner George Martin.
Aside from that, the Monarch offense never seriously threatened. Cuizon wants his team to raise its level of intensity.
"I hope we come through. It's there. We just gotta show more heart," he said.
Muramaru and his team wolfed down bentos after the game in the parking lot, light-hearted, but not quite celebratory.
"I'm not into the after-game speeches. I told them we have practice tomorrow," Muramaru said.
The Owls start freshmen at center field and shortstop, and McDaniel made it three pups on the field.
"I've never had three freshmen starting at any time," said Muramaru, who has guided the MPI program to four state titles since taking over in 1985. "We send 'em out there, but we can't have great expectations. You do the best you can, and that's how it is."
At Aloha Stadium
Robert Cuizon and Kai Higa. Matthew McDaniel and Easton Torigoe.W
Leading hitters--Dam: K. Higa 2b; Lyle Nishikawa 2b.MPI: Adam Tamashiro 3-3, 2b, 2 RBIs.
Kamehameha 6, Pac-Five 2
Kamehameha used its speed to the fullest, stealing five bases in a pivotal third inning to down the Wolfpack.
Waylen Sing Chow led the Warrior attack, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. He also stretched out an inside-the-park home run in the sixth. Speedster Aaron Nichols hit 2-for-4 with two runs.
The Warriors scored in the third after Aaron Nichols singled, stole second and third, and came home on a groundout by Waylen Sing Chow. Pac-Five starter Ross Yamato recorded two outs in the inning, but had control problems and was replaced by Kendal Tanigawa.
After starting the game in right field, Tanigawa struggled as well, walking the bases loaded. The southpaw got out of the jam, however, by inducing a fly out to left by John Worthington.
Kamehameha added an insurance run in the fourth inning on Mitchell Kauweloa's RBI double to left to open a 4-1 lead.
Kapono Chang, Christopher Pascual (5), Ashkon Kuhaulua and Stuart Kam. Ross Yamato, Kendal Tanigawa (3), Samson Aina (4) and Adam Chilcote.W
Leading hitters--Kam: Waylen Sing Chow 3-4, HR, 3 RBIs; Aaron Nichols 2-4; Mitchell Kauweloa 2b. P5: Kama Moises 2-3; R. Yamato 2-3; Brennan Young 2-3; Aaron Chilcote 2b; Ronel Trias 2b.
No. 2 Iolani 7, Saint Louis 5
Brett Hasegawa went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, and teammate Reyn Nagamine was 2-for-3 with a double as the Raiders defeated the Crusaders.
Ryan Sasaki was 2-for-3 with a double and Jason Fukumoto went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs for Saint Louis.
At Mid-Pacific Field
|Saint Louis (3-10)
Cameron Bayne, Anthony Usui (6) and Justin Doane; Wally Marciel, Kelsey Outram (7) and Jarvis Nohara.W
Leading hitters--StL: Ryan Sasaki 2-3, 2b; Jason Fukumoto 2-4, 2b, 2 RBIs; Preston Lynch 2-4.Iol: Brett Hasegawa 2-3, 2b, 2 RBIs; Reyn Nagamine 2-3, 2b; Travis Nishioka 2b.
Game 1: Iolani 7, Saint Louis 5
2:Mid-Pacific 3, Damien 1
3: Kamehameha 6, Pac-Five 2
4: Saint Louis vs. Damien, at Iolani field , 3:45 p.m.
5: Punahou vs. Kamehameha, at Aloha Stadium, 4:30 p.m.
6: Iolani vs. Mid-Pacific, at Aloha Stadium, 7 p.m.
7: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 5, site TBA, 3:45 p.m.
8: Pac-Five vs. Loser Game 6, at Aloha Stadium, 4:30 p.m.
9:Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, at Aloha Stadium, 7 p.m.
10: Winner Games 7 and 8, at Aloha Stadium, 6:30 p.m.
11:Loser Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, at Aloha Stadium, 3 p.m.
MONDAY, MAY 8
12:Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 11, at Aloha Stadium, 6:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 10
13:Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12, if necessary, at Central Oahu Regional Park, 5 p.m.
Seeds: East--1. Moanalua. 2. Kaiser. 3. Kailua. 4. Kalani. 5. Castle. 6. Roosevelt. West--1. Aiea. 2. Pearl City. 3. Leilehua. 4. Mililani. 5. Waianae. 6. Campbell.
Game 1: Waianae at Kalani, 4 p.m.
2:Roosevelt at Leilehua, 4 p.m.
3: Campbell at Kailua, 4 p.m.
4: Castle at Mililani, 4 p.m.
5: Winner Game 1 at Aiea, 5:30 p.m.
6: Winner Game 2 at Kaiser, 4 p.m.
7: Winner Game 3 at Pearl City, 4 p.m.
8: Winner Game 4 at Moanalua, 4 p.m.
At Higher Seed
9: Losers Games 7 and 8, 4 p.m.
10:Losers Games 5 and 6, 4 p.m.
11: Winners Games 7 and 8, 4 p.m.
12:Winners Games 5 and 6, 4 p.m.
At Central Oahu Regional Park
13:Fifth place--Winners Games 9 and 10, 10 a.m.
14:Third place--Losers Games 11 and 12, 1 p.m.
15: Championship--Winners Games 11 and 12, 5:30 p.m.