JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Punahou's Harrison "Jeeter" Ishida, right, and Zach Kometani scrambled for a bunt yesterday.
Mid-Pacific puts Punahou in its place
To chip away at the state's premier baseball dynasty, the Mid-Pacific Owls turned to a 15-year-old sloth.
Sophomore pitcher Dylan Tawata, known to teammates as the "Sloth," was all grins and ice packs after hurling five stellar innings to help second-ranked Mid-Pac upset No. 1 Punahou 12-7 yesterday in a hot midday showdown at Ala Wai Field.
It was the first win by the Owls over the Buffanblu since 2004, a fact practically unknown to MPI's current players. "I guess they got tired of losing (to Punahou)," coach Dunn Muramaru said. "They're one year older. They put it all on the line today."
Mid-Pac pounded three Punahou pitchers for 18 base hits, including 14 off ace Harrison "Jeeter" Ishida. Every MPI batter recorded at least one hit, and all but a couple of Owls had at least two hits. Mid-Pac was an astounding 18-for-37 at the plate.
Tawata steadied a rocky ship by allowing just three runs and six hits in his first appearance against the state's four-time defending champions.
"I just kept doing what Coach Greg (Hayashi) said," Tawata said of his pitching mentor. "He said, 'Just keep doing what you're doing.'"
That meant a steady diet of curves and fastballs against a potent Punahou lineup.
"I stuck with my game plan," said Tawata, who induced the Buffanblu into a number of fly balls and pop-ups. He followed starter Dane Kinoshita and Robert Dittrick.
"He threw the ball over the plate and let his defense work," Punahou coach Eric Kadooka said. MPI didn't commit an error. "They shut us down in big situations. They swung the bat and clutched up with men on base."
The win boosted Mid-Pacific to 3-0 in Interscholastic League of Honolulu play (20-1 overall). Punahou slipped to 3-1 in league play (16-5-1 overall). It was MPI's first win over the Buffanblu since the 2004 ILH tournament, when Harrison Kuroda was the Owls' ace. Punahou went on to win the '04 state tourney and the next three in a row.
Muramaru said the players gave Tawata his nickname because he moves very slowly. Tawata also proved to be very effective and unflappable, bouncing back after hitting a couple of batters.
"He threw strikes and never lost his poise," Muramaru said. "Some guys are like that."
Michael Nagamine and Nick Tasaka each had three hits to spark MPI. Derek Tan drove in four runs, including a key two-out, bases-loaded triple in the second frame.
The Owls took their lumps in the past few seasons with a talented, but young team. Muramaru doesn't expect their focus to change.
"Everyone's gunning for everyone else. In the ILH, you can't sit back, can't get too high or too low," he said. "It's not like this was the state championship game."
At Ala Wai Field
Dane Kinoshita, Robert Dittrick (2), Dylan Tawata (3) and Aaron Fujiki. Harrison Ishida, Paul Snieder (6), Evan Lim (7) and Zach Kometani.
Leading hitters--MPI: Fujiki 2-4, 2 runs; Easton Torigoe 2-5, triple, 2 runs; Michael Nagamine 3-4, 4 runs, RBI; Derek Tan 2-5, double, 4 RBIs; Nick Tasaka 3-5, 3 RBIs; Michael Arakaki 2-3; Todd Nagamine 2-4, 2 RBIs. Punahou: Geoffrey Kunita 2-4, RBI; Ishida 2-3, double; Shane Yoshiyama 3-3.
Saint Louis 15, Kamehameha 5, 5 inn.
Danny Higa hit one home run and drove in four runs and Kyle Gonzaga scored three runs as the Crusaders defeated the Warriors in five innings.
At Iolani H.S.
|Saint Louis (3-1)
Alika Pruett, Chris Pascual (4) and Keanu Carmichael. Josh Saio Chris Chung (5) and Moses Samia.
Leading hitters--Kamehameha: Kapena Kalehuawehi-Gomes 2-2, run; Arlie Johnson 2-3, RBI; Ula Nakamura 2b. Saint Louis: Danny Higa 2-4, HR, 4 runs, 4 RBIs; Kyle Gonzaga 2-3, HR, 3 runs, 3 RBIs; Marcus Kimura 2b, run, RBI; Cole Shidaki 2-4, 2b, run, 3 RBIs.
Damien 11, Pac-Five 10
Damien overcame Pac-Five's eight-run second inning by scoring in four separate innings.
at Ala Wai Park
Tyler Moon, Ian Padaken (4), Tyler Simao (6) and Reid Morihara. D.J. Andrade, Isaac Ventura (2), Johnathan Awa (5) and Darby Ventura.
Leading hitters--Pac-Five: Padaken 2-4, 2 RBIs; Travis Ogimi 2-4; John-Ray Rodriques 2 runs; Keenan Shigematsu 2-4, 5 RBIs, 3b. Damien: Andrade 2-5, 2 runs, 3b; Oli Meheula 3b; Travis Derby 3-3, 4 runs, 2b, 1 RBI; Michael Memea 2-4, 3b; D. Ventura double, 2 RBIs.
Iolani 17, Maryknoll 4
Breland Almadova went 4-for-4 at bat as the Raiders defeated the Spartans in six innings.
At Ala Wai Park
JR Bunda, Trent Miyashiro (3), Ronnie Hirokawa (4), Breland Almadova (4) and Grant Iwamoto. Craig Shoji, Jeff Arakaki (4), Jeff Hagino (4), Matt Guzman (4), Jordan Hirokawa (5) and Kyle Hirata. W--Miyashiro. L--Shoji
Leading hitters--Iolani: Almadova 4-4; Reyn Nagamine 2-4, 2b, 3b, 3 RBIs; Jarrett Arakawa 3 RBIs; Grant Liu 2-3, 2b; Iwamoto 2-4, 2 2bs.