Almadova leads Raiders' power surge


POSTED: Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A battle between undefeated rivals 'Iolani and Mid-Pacific for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu baseball lead turned into a Raiders home run derby.

'Iolani launched five long balls, including two dingers and five RBIs from Breland Almadova, and posted a 14-0 shellacking of the Owls in a mercy-rule-shortened five-inning game yesterday afternoon at Mid-Pacific.

Buen Hatanaka and Reyn Nagamine each chipped in solo home runs, while JR Bunda added a pinch-hit, two-run blast to help the Raiders improve to 15-6 overall and 4-0 in league play.

“;Like I always tell our guys: We're not that good and they're not that bad — that's just the way it goes in baseball,”; 'Iolani coach Dean Yonamine said. “;Last time we played them here last year, they beat us 25-2. We were up 2-0, and they scored 25 unanswered runs. This was our day, and I can guarantee the guys aren't trying to swing for the fence, they're just trying to make good contact.”;

After the Raiders went up 1-0 on Hatanaka's opposite-field shot in the second inning, Almadova put them ahead 3-0 in the third frame on his first homer of the game — a two run shot that sailed over the fence into the trees in dead-center field more than 350 feet away.

“;The team pulled through. If we stick together, we'll be a hard team to beat,”; said Almadova, who now has three home runs in four league games. “;Any pitcher that they give to us, we're going to hit them. We're a strong team, and if we stick together as one team, we'll go far this season.”;

'Iolani continued the scoring spree in the fourth inning on Nagamine's homer, which bounced into the University of Hawaii campus after bouncing off a road well past the fence in right field. Grant Iwamoto's RBI single plated Sean Nada, who had doubled earlier, and an RBI single with the bases loaded from Jensen Park led to an early exit for Mid-Pacific starter Lawrence Chew. The left-hander surrendered five runs on four hits through 3 1/3 innings.

The Raiders put the game out of reach in the fifth frame with a seven-hit, eight-run outburst highlighted by Almadova's second homer of the game and a two-run double off the left-field fence from Iwamoto, who missed hitting the ball out by mere feet.

“;We've been trying to take more cuts (in practice) now that it's spring break, so we can take more reps than we normally get during a regular week during the school year,”; Yonamine said. “;We work hard in the weightroom during the offseason, and maintain that at least once a week during the season, so I think it's paying off for us.”;

'Iolani starter Sheldon Lee improved to 2-0 after striking out three through four innings, and reliever Jarrett Arakawa recorded the final three outs in the game's fifth frame to preserve the shutout.

“;They kicked our butt. That's basically it,”; Mid-Pacific coach Dunn Muramaru said. “;We got the ball up, they hit the ball out. We didn't (force) any ground balls. Their pitchers did what we're trying to get our pitchers to do.”;

The Owls (19-2-1, 3-1) managed two hits on the afternoon: a leadoff single from Todd Nagamine, and a pinch-hit double in the fifth off the bat of Chance Tanigawa.

Iolani (3-0)0123814132
Mid-Pacific (2-1)00000021

Sheldon Lee, Jarrett Arakawa (5) and Grant Iwamoto. Lawrence Chew, Robert Dittrick (3) and Dane Fujinaka. W—Lee. L—Chew.

Leading hittersIol: Reyn Nagamine HR, 2 RBIs, run; JR Bunda HR, 2 RBIs, run; Sean Nada 2b, 2 runs; Breland Almadova 2-4, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 2 runs; Buen Hatanaka 2-3, HR, RBI, 2 runs; Iwamoto 2-3, 2b, 3 RBIs, 2 runs. MPI: Bryson Chang 2b.

Saint Louis 7, Pac-Five 5

Josh Tupua hit a double to left-center field, driving in two runs to lift the Crusaders past the Wolfpack.

Shayne Nakata struck out seven batters for Pac-Five in the loss.

At Ala Wai Community Park

Saint Louis (2-1)0021400791
Pac-Five (0-3)2001200572

Kaeo Aliviado, Kekona Maruicio (4), Chris Chung (5) and Moses Samia. Shayne Nakata, Ryan Uenten (5) and Reid Morihara. W—Aliviado. L—Nakata.

Leading hittersStL: Kalei Contrades 2-4, 2b, 2 RBIs; Josh Tupua 2-4, 2b, RBI, run. P5: Morihara 2-4, 2b, 2 runs; Noa Okinaka 2-3, 2b, 2 RBIs.

Kamehameha 13, Damien 1

Kewby Meyer went 3-for-3, hitting a triple as the Warriors routed the Monarchs.

Damien (0-3)10000135
Kamehameha (2-1)3415x13122

Jeremy Dela Cruz, Trey Derby (3), Stanton Pilialoha (5) and Aalona Amimoto. Bryson Kenolio, Kainoa Inafuku (2), Harley Holt (3), Chris Pascual (4), Kewby Meyer (5) and Keanu Carmichael. W—Kenolio. L—Dela Cruz.

Leading hittersDam: Douglas Andrade 2b. Kam: TC Campbell 2b, run; Mike Tokunaga 2b, 2 RBIs; Meyer 3-3, 3b, RBI, 2 runs; Carmichael 2-3, 2b, RBI, run.