SUGAR MILL SENIOR BASEBALL CLASSIC
McQuown leads Sugar Mill blowout
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In their best combined effort, former UH pitchers Keahi Rawlins and Rich Olsen teamed up to shut out Fresno State on an Easter Sunday not so long ago.
Yesterday, they showed a golden touch as coaches. Their White squad rode a first-inning, grand-slam shot by Paul Snieder and a 5-for-5 hitting spectacular by Ben McQuown in a 17-0 shellacking of the Gray team in the Sugar Mill Senior Baseball Classic at Hans L'Orange Field.
Six White pitchers, led by Randy Castillo, combined for a three-hitter. McQuown alone outhit the Gray squad, spanking four doubles among his five hits. He reached base six times in six plate appearances.
The postseason exhibition game returned after a one-year hiatus.
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Better late than never, at least for Ben McQuown.
After watching his team fall short of the state tournament in gut-wrenching fashion, the Waianae senior got a measure of satisfaction yesterday by going 5-for-5 with four doubles to lead the White team over the Gray 17-0 in the Sugar Mill Senior Baseball Classic.
A crowd of about 200 watched at sunny, breezy Hans L'Orange Field in Waipahu. Six White pitchers collaborated on a three-hitter, amassing nine strikeouts while doling out just two walks. White batters reached eight Gray hurlers for 15 hits and walked eight times in the nine-inning tilt.
The Gray squad got a runner to third base only once, in the bottom of the eighth. With runners at second and third with one out, Michael Jahns (St. Anthony) struck out Danny Higa (Saint Louis) and slugger Scotty Talaesea (Kailua).
"I didn't want to be the only one to give up a run," said Jahns, one of three neighbor-island players in the exhibition. The Northwestern-bound right-hander struck out three in two innings.
McQuown, who stars in football, also walked once to reach base in all six of his plate appearances. His line: single to center off Dustin Antolin (Mililani), double to center off Josh Saio (Saint Louis), walk against Eric Hudson (Waipahu), two-run double to left off Kelsey Outram (Iolani), double to right off Brent Nakasone (Leilehua) and an RBI double to left off Bryson Nakamura (Pearl City).
"I was just playing my game. I was lucky and got good contact on the ball," McQuown said. "It was fun playing all the best players in the state. I proved to myself I can play with anybody, but it was fun, too."
Paul Snieder (Punahou) gave the White team a boost in the top of the first, blasting a grand slam to right-center off Antolin. That towering shot drew a good-natured barb from the Gray coaching staff, comprised of Punahou junior varsity coaches. Snieder, who is also en route to Northwestern, pitched the final inning.
Zach Fujimoto had a strong showing for Division II Maryknoll, going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI. Kyle Gonzaga (Saint Louis) was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Defensively, it was a relatively clean game with only one error by each side. Fujimoto turned in a brilliant diving catch in center on a line drive by Kainoa Tom (Castle).
Gray left fielder Duane Kiyota (Pearl City) turned in a gem with a bullet to throw out Ryne Acosta (Pearl City), who tried to stretch a single into a double against his former Chargers teammate.
Higa had a stellar performance at shortstop, including a sterling play deep in the hole to rob his former teammate, Gonzaga, of a base hit in the fourth.
Fireballing Randy Castillo (Aiea), who pitched the first two scoreless innings for the White, got the win.
The coaching duo of Keahi Rawlins and Rich Olsen Jr. led the White squad. The former UH Rainbows also starred together on an Easter Sunday afternoon in 2003. Rawlins pitched seven innings as the two combined for a five-hit shutout of Fresno State. ... The Gray squad was coached by Blane Muraoka, Keenan Sue and Matt Shido. ... Harrison "Jeeter" Ishida (Punahou), the two-time Star-Bulletin pitcher of the year, suited up but did not play. ... Organizer Casey Onaga invited the top seniors from Division II champion Kauai to play, but they declined invitations.
At Hans L'Orange Field
W--Randy Castillo. L--Dustin Antolin.
Leading hitters--White: Zach Fujimoto (Maryknoll) 2-4, 2B, RBI; Paul Snieder 1-1, HR, 4 RBIs, run; Kyle Gonzaga (Saint Louis) 2-3, 3B, 3 runs, RBI; Ben McQuown (Waianae) 5-5, 4 2B, 4 runs, 3 RBIs. Gray: None.