HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
Punahou slips past Iolani to finish 12-0
While yesterday afternoon's clash of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's top baseball powers was essentially meaningless, the players involved sure didn't show it.
No. 1 Punahou, which had already clinched the league's championship on Saturday, rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat No. 2 Iolani -- the league's second-place team -- 11-10 at Ala Wai Field. The Buffanblu finished the regular season with an unblemished 12-0 record, and continued to build momentum heading into next week's ILH tournament, in which Punahou earned an opening-round bye.
"It's pretty unreal to go undefeated, but that really wasn't the point of today," said Punahou coach Eric Kadooka. "(We wanted to) get people in who haven't played (much this season) and get ready for the tournament. You never know when you're going to bring somebody in (off the bench), so just to get everybody in, it's important. Things happened on the field, but to come back was nice."
The game was anything but commonplace, as 48 players saw action between the two teams. Iolani used seven pitchers, who combined to issue eight walks and hit four batters. Six pitchers toed the rubber for Punahou, and the staff also issued eight free passes.
After both squads were deadlocked at 3-3 after two innings, Punahou broke the game open with six runs in the bottom of the third frame. The Buffanblu took advantage of four Raider errors -- all committed by shortstop Tim Schilf -- and two walks by relief pitcher Robson Bunda in the inning to take the seemingly comfortable 9-3 lead.
But Iolani (9-3) crept back into the game, scoring a run in each of the fourth and fifth innings, and three more on an inside-the-park home run to deep center field off the bat of Breland Almadova, which brought Iolani within one run of Punahou, 9-8. The Raiders kept rolling in their half of the seventh, bringing home two more runs to take the 10-9 lead as Darren Sonobe plated Lionel Fujioka with an RBI triple, and then scored on a wild pitch unleashed by Buffanblu reliever Reid Okita.
Not to be outdone, Punahou loaded the bases in its half of the frame as Evan Bisho singled, Tyler Hanzawa was hit by a pitch, and Matthew Suiter was walked intentionally. After Joshua Bninski drove in Bisho on a long single to center, Paul Snieder walked on five pitches with the bases still loaded, allowing Hanzawa to trot home with the deciding run.
"We were trying to win, there's no doubt, but we wanted to see what some of the (reserves) can give us," said Iolani coach Dean Yonamine. "A win would have been nice, but we accomplished what we wanted to do for today and being in it right until the end, that was important, too."
The league tournament gets under way on Monday, and Iolani will face Pac-5 -- the league's seventh seed -- at 3:45 p.m. at Ala Wai Field.
At Ala Wai Field
Kela Marciel, Robson Bunda (3), Dustin Shitanishi (4), Ronnie Hirokawa (5), Breland Almadova (6), Sean Takahashi (7), Sheldon Lee (7) and Ryan Barayuga, Grant Iwamoto (4). Evan Yamamoto, Jeremy Fujimoto (2), Evan Lim (4), Cheyne Okawa (5), Bryson Nakamura (6), Reid Okita (7) and Nick Lee, Travis Tanaka (4). W--Okita. L--Takahashi.
Leading hitters--Iol: Almadova home run, 3 RBIs; Case Miyahira 2-4, 2 runs; Lionel Fujioka 2-3, 2 runs, RBI; Darren Sonobe 3b, RBI. Pun: Landen Taga 2-2, 2 runs, RBI; Lee 2b, 2 RBIs.
No. 5 Mid-Pacific 9, Kamehameha 5
Todd Nagamine's RBI double highlighted a five-run first inning for the Owls, who held on to defeat the Warriors.
Waylen Sing Chow and Lane Nakamura each homered for Kamehameha.
At Mid-Pacific Institute field
Ashkon Kuhaulua, Scott Fisher (5), John Worthington (6) and Lane Nakamura. Jeffrey Khan, Austin Sloan (4), Michael Nagamine (7) and Aaron Fujiki. W--Khan. L--Kuhaulua.
Leading hitters--Kam: Keoni Lum 2-3; Waylen Sing Chow 2-3, HR, 2 RBIs; Mitchell Kauweloa 2b; Piikea Kitamura 2-3; Nakamura 2-3, HR. MPI: Todd Nagamine 2-3, 2b, RBI.