HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Reece Kiriu, left, congratulated Punahou teammate Shane Yoshiyama yesterday for scoring a run against Iolani.
Ishida’s bat helps No. 1 Punahou punch out No. 2 Iolani
In a game that had the makings of a classic pitchers' duel between two Interscholastic League of Honolulu powers, the scene quickly morphed into a slugfest as No. 1 Punahou defeated No. 2 Iolani 9-6 yesterday afternoon before a standing-room-only crowd at Iolani. Both squads combined for 21 hits, quite a feat considering both units went with their best starting pitchers.
Buffanblu ace Jeeter Ishida, last year's Star Bulletin Pitcher of the Year, picked up the victory after striking out eight Raiders and throwing 105 pitches -- 70 for strikes -- in six innings on the hill. The junior helped himself out at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and a sacrifice bunt.
"I really haven't been in the lineup for the first part of the season because I hurt my (non-throwing) shoulder, so it was a good day back," Ishida said. "We're always hungry ... and we're going to get everyone's ace. Everyone's going to be gunning for us with a big bull's-eye on our backs (as three-time defending state champions)."
Punahou (14-2 overall, 4-0 ILH) took the second-inning lead when third baseman Paul Snieder laced a double into the left-center-field gap off Iolani ace Kelsey Outram, and plated Shane Yoshiyama, who was at first as Ishida's courtesy runner.
The Raiders (13-10, 2-2) tried to answer in the bottom half of the frame after catcher Grant Iwamoto led off with a single, and his courtesy runner, Darren Sonobe, advanced to second on a fielder's choice from Brennan Nacario. After Kela Marciel struck out, Lionel Fujioka ripped a line drive into right field that, seemingly, would bring the run in. But Punahou's Kimo Makaula scooped up the ball and threw it on a line to first baseman Evan Lim, who completed the relay to catcher Zachary Kometani to tag out Sonobe on a bang-bang play.
"Because it involves so many guys, and it's rare, it was just a huge boost and it kick-started the inning," said Punahou head coach Eric Kadooka of the relay. "I'm just grateful that we had the chance to make the play, and executed it perfectly."
The momentum carried on into the Buffanblu's ensuing turn at bat. Punahou sent 12 hitters to the plate in the third inning. The Buffanblu brought home eight runs on seven hits and chased Outram after 2 2/3 innings.
Shortstop Joshua Bninski sparked the rally by taking advantage of a stiff wind blowing out to center field with a two-run homer to the deepest part of the ballpark. A two-run double by Geoffrey Kunita and a single by Matthew Suiter also contributed to Punahou's 9-0 cushion as Iolani reliever Jon Okada finally stopped the bleeding.
"To do it off their No. 1 guy, and he shut us out last year, our guys just got good pitches to hit, got guys on base and hit the ball solid," Kadooka said. "We knew they weren't going to lie down, and they came back just as we thought, so we had to battle the whole way."
At Iolani H.S. field
Jeeter Ishida, Reece Kiriu (7) and Zachary Kometani. Kelsey Outram, Jon Okada (3) and Grant Iwamoto. W--Ishida. L-Outram.
Leading hitters--Pun: Ishida 2-3, RBI; Matthew Suiter 2 RBIs; Joshua Bninski HR, 2 RBIs; Paul Snieder 2-3, 2 RBIs; Geoffrey Kunita 2 RBI, 2b. Iol: Case Miyahira 3-4, RBI; Reyn Nagamine HR, 2 runs; Brennan Nacario 2-4, RBI, 2b.
Saint Louis 14, Pac-Five 6
No details were reported.