ILH BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
Punahou proves it can beat Saint Louis
Tyler Young drove in three runs, including the go-ahead run in the seventh, and Reece Kiriu threw two key innings in relief as Punahou upset No. 1 Saint Louis 11-9 at Ala Wai Community Park yesterday.
» Kamehameha (9-8-1) vs. Saint Louis (16-2), 3:45 p.m. Ala Wai Field
» Championship: Punahou (11-5-1) vs. Kamehameha/Saint Louis winner, 3:45 p.m. Ala Wai Field
Fifth-ranked Punahou became the only unbeaten team in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu tournament. "The tournament has given us a chance to start a new chapter on our season," coach Eric Kadooka said of his four-time defending state champions. "We showed heart."
Saint Louis, the regular-season champion, will face Kamehameha on Tuesday. The loser will be eliminated from the double-elimination format, while the winner will face Punahou on Thursday.
Kiriu allowed one run and one hit and steadied the ship for Punahou, which rallied from an 8-3 deficit. The Buffanblu handed Saio a loss after he had beaten Punahou (11-5-1) in two earlier meetings. Punahou got to Josh Saio for three runs in the seventh with a leadoff double by Kometani and a run-scoring double by Young. Kiriu helped his cause with an RBI single, and Matt Suiter added a run-scoring infield single with two outs for an 11-8 Punahou lead.
Saint Louis mustered a run in the bottom of the seventh, but left two runners on base.
"We got a lot of clutch hits," said Kiriu, who started at second base before becoming the fourth pitcher of the day for the Buffanblu. "The first thing was getting my off-speed (pitch) over for strikes. (My) second inning, the fastball was up. I took a deep breath and lengthened my stride, just let it fly."
Suiter was stellar, with two hits, two steals, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Saint Louis coach Duane Fraticelli allowed Kamakani Usui to start and pitch 5 2/3 innings before turning to Saio, the ace.
However, three errors derailed the normally sure-handed Crusaders (16-2). Five of Punahou's runs were unearned.
Saint Louis was down 3-0 before surging ahead against Punahou starting pitcher Paul Snieder and reliever Jeremy Fujimoto. The Crusaders tied it at 3 in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Marcus Kimura.
Saint Louis racked up five runs in the fifth with two key blows, a two-run double to deep center by Cole Shidaki and a two-run triple by Kimura.
Punahou answered in the top of the sixth with five runs to tie the game. Two Crusader errors opened the door, while Young delivered a sacrifice fly and Josh Bninski added a two-out, two-run double. Bninski's shot, which ricocheted off the ankle of third baseman Kino Belden, brought home Shane Yoshiyama and Geoff Kunita to tie the game at 8-all.
Saint Louis leadoff hitter and center fielder Tamatoa DeMello was ejected from the game in the third inning after leaping over Punahou catcher Zach Kometani at home plate on a single by Danny Higa. The rulebook stipulates that no baserunner can legally leap over a fielder unless the fielder is lying down.
|Saint Louis (16-2)
Paul Snieder, Jeremy Fujimoto (5), Jacob Ellis (5), Reece Kiriu (6) and Zach Kometani. Kamakani Usui, Josh Saio (6), Chris Chung 7 and Keoni Haina. W--Kiriu. L--Saio.
Leading hitters--Punahou: Matt Suiter 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Snieder 2-3, RBI; Harrison Ishida 2-4, 2b, 2 runs; Tyler Young 2-3, 2b, 3 RBIs. Saint Louis: Cole Shidaki 2-3, 2b, 2 RBIs; Marcus Kimura 2-4, 3b, 3 RBIs.
Kamehameha 6, Mid-Pacific 5
Easton Torigoe and Mikey Nagamine combined to drive in three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for the Owls but still fell short, losing to the Warriors at Mid-Pacific Institute.
Piikea Kitamura led Kamehameha, going 3-for-4, with a double, home run and two RBIs.
Alika Pruett, Kainoa Toriki (7) and Ula Nakamura. Dylan Kawada, Kase Kaneko (3), Davin Kinoshita (4), Robert Dittrick (7) and Aaron Fujiki.
Leading hitters--Kamehameha: Piikea Kitamura 3-4, 2b, HR, 2 RBIs; Arlie Johnson 2-3, 2 RBIs; Kale Hanawahine 3-4, RBI. Mid-Pacific: Easton Torigoe 2-4, 2 2bs, RBI; Mikey Nagamine 2 RBIs.