GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Saint Louis' Tamatoa DeMello slid safely into second base yesterday, avoiding the tag of Iolani's Kela Marciel.
Crusaders pay back Raiders
After a handful of close losses a year ago, Duane Fraticelli figured the Saint Louis baseball team might turn the corner this spring.
The Crusaders coach was right. Tamatoa DeMello socked three hits and scored three runs while Josh Saio permitted three runs over five innings as No. 7 Saint Louis rallied past No. 6 Iolani 9-3 yesterday at the Raiders' field.
Saint Louis, which had a pivotal five-run fifth inning, is 9-4 overall. Winning at Iolani exorcised some bad memories for the Crusaders, who had lost to the Raiders during the Charles Halter tournament last month. Yesterday's win was the first over the Raiders in years, shortstop Danny Higa said.
"We knew we could beat 'em. When we lost to them, we beat ourselves with errors," said Higa, who couldn't remember a previous Saint Louis win over Iolani during his four years. Higa committed the only Saint Louis error, but his fourth-inning miscue didn't add up to a run for Iolani.
Saio gave up four hits and overcame seven walks with the help of his defense. Chris Chung and DeMello each chalked up an inning in relief after Saio left with a 7-3 lead.
Ronnie Hirokawa, in relief of starter Sheldon Lee, took the loss for Iolani (7-10 overall).
"Especially since it's the season opener, it's a big win," DeMello said. "As a team, our bats are good so far. We've been getting 11 hits a game, but we lose on defense."
The Crusaders racked up their average yesterday with 11 hits, but they were timely. Only three baserunners were left on base. Iolani stranded 10.
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Saint Louis' Tamatoa DeMello was safe at second as Iolani shortstop Kela Marciel applied the late tag during yesterday's game. Saint Louis won 9-3.
Both starting pitchers were wobbly in the first inning. A bases-loaded wild pitch by Lee allowed DeMello to score the first run. After Moses Samia sent a sacrifice fly to center to bring Higa home, the visitors had a 2-0 lead.
Iolani answered with a bases-loaded walk by Buen Hatanaka. A sacrifice fly by Breland Almadova scored Jarrett Arakawa to tie the game at 2 after one inning.
Saint Louis got a break in the bottom of the third when catcher Keoni Haina started a 2-6-5-6 pickoff of Almadova off second base. However, Kela Marciel, who had missed a bunt attempt moments earlier, lined a single to left and courtesy runner Jordan Nakamura scored easily for a 3-2 Raiders lead.
The Crusaders were hitless in 13 at-bats in a row until the top of the fifth. Hirokawa retired the first two Crusaders he faced before they belted six hits in a row. DeMello cracked a ground-rule double to left and came home one pitch later on Higa's single to left, tying the game at 3.
After Kyle Gonzaga singled to right, Samia delivered a single to left to bring in Higa with the go-ahead run. The next hitter, Cole Shidaki, chopped a high one in front of the plate for an easy putout -- the third out -- but the play was ruled a foul ball. Iolani coach Dean Yonamine was livid about the call, but Shidaki followed with a single to center to score Gonzaga and give the Crusaders a 5-3 lead.
Arakawa relieved Hirokawa, but Haina stroked an RBI double, and Shidaki later came home on a wild pitch for a 7-3 cushion. Saint Louis tacked on two more runs in the sixth. DeMello's RBI triple brought in pinch hitter Marcus Kimura, and DeMello scored on a groundout by Higa.
Iolani's coaching staff was annoyed by three calls in the game. One was the foul ball involving Shidaki, and another was a safe call on what looked to be a pickoff in the first inning by Lee with DeMello at first base.
|Saint Louis (1-0)
Josh Saio, Chris Chung (6), Tamatoa DeMello (7) and Keoni Haina. Sheldon Lee, Ronnie Hirokawa (5), Jarrett Arakawa (5), Dustin Shitanishi (7) and Grant Iwamoto. W
Leading hitters--Saint Louis: DeMello 3-4, triple, double, three runs; Danny Higa 2-4, two runs, RBI; Kyle Gonzaga 2-4, run; Moses Samia, 1-2, two RBI. Iolani: Breland Almadova 2-3, double, RBI.