Another gorgeous afternoon for baseball. Mostly blue sky, just a few white puffs above, trades 5-15 mph here at Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park. Traffic was moderate getting out here from town between 2:15 and 3 p.m. This is the time of day when I enjoy the CORP grounds most. After 7 p.m., it can be wet (constant mist), windy and kind of cold.
And the restroom is a 5-minute walk away, not good for those of us keeping score.
No. 3 MPI (14-3-1) and No. 1 STL (14-5) are the last two teams in the ILH double-elimination tournament. (Both have qualified for the state tournament.) STL eliminated IOL on Wednesday 4-2. MPI is unbeaten in the tourney, which means STL needs to beat MPI twice to win the tourney title. If MPI wins the tourney, there will be one final matchup with STL, the regular-season winner, for the ILH crown.
We’re 13 minutes from game time. PLAY BALL!
MPI: Abreu on the mound for STL. Nagata beats out a high chopper to third to lead off. Muramaru reaches on a bunt. Bottom’s sac bunt turns into a wild throw by the 3B, Nagata scores from second, MPI 1-0. Shackles pops out to second, first out. With Igarashi at bat, passed ball allows Muramaru to score from third, MPI 2-0. Shackles pops out to second, one out. Igarashi sac fly to center, Bottom scores from third, MPI 3-0. Yamaguchi lines a double down the left-field line. Kiyotaki strikes out on a called third strike. Three runs, three hits, one error, one left on base. MPI 3, STL coming up to bat.
STL: Zalewski on the mound for MPI. Romero grounds to short to lead off. Mopas flies out to right. Gribbin grounds out to the pitcher for the third out. No runs, no hits, no errors, none left. MPI 3, STL 0.
MPI: Lum pops out to the catcher in foul ground. Yamashiro lines out to second for the second out. Nagata’s deep drive to center is misread by the CF and drops for a triple. Muramaru grounds out to first for the third out. No runs, one hit, no errors, one left on base. MPI 3, STL 0.
STL: Kuhns pops out to third. Yamamoto reaches base on an E5. Yamamoto advances to second on an E1 throw (pickoff attempt). Yamamoto goes to third when Stubblefield’s grounder to short is botched (E6). Uchima follows with a fielder’s choice grounder to second, scoring Yamamoto, MPI 3, STL 1. Atiburcio walks on five pitches, moving Uchima to second. Zalewski throws three balls to Meilleur, prompting a visit from HC Muramaru. Meilleur then walks to load the bases. Zalewski is replaced by Grant Doi. Romero flies to right for the third out. One run, no hits, three errors, three left on base. MPI 3, STL 1.
MPI: Bottom grounds to short. Shackes pops out to the pitcher. Igarashi grounds a single to left. Yamaguchi reaches on an infield single (to third). Kiyotaki reaches on an infield single deep in the hole at short to load the bases. STL HC Gusman visits the mound and confers with his P and infielders. Lum walks on four pitches to force in Igarashi from third, MPI 4, STL 1. Yamashiro grounds into a 4-6 fielder’s choice to end the inning. One run, three hits, no errors, three left on base. MPI 4, STL 1.
STL: Mopas reaches second when his fly ball to left is dropped by the LF (wind was a factor). Gribbin swings and misses on a breaking ball for the third strike, one out. Kuhns walks to give STL runners at second and first. Doi goes 2-0 on Yamamoto, C Shackles visits the mound. Doi throws another ball, HC Muramaru visits the mound. Yamamoto walks to load the bases. Stubblefield chops a single to right, scoring Mopas, MPI 4, STL 2. Bases still loaded. Doi throws a ball to Uchima, and then is replaced by Jacob Maekawa. First pitch from Maekawa is singled up the middle, scoring Kuhns and Yamamoto, MPI 4, STL 4. Maekawa plunks Atiburcio on a 1-1 pitch, loading the bases. Meilleur goes after Maekawa’s first pitch, single to left, scoring Stubblefield, STL 5, MPI 4. Romero lines to first, unassisted double play to end the inning. Four runs, three hits, one error, two left on base. STL 5, MPI 4.
MPI: Nagata singles to center. Nagata advances on an E1 pickoff throw by Abreu. Muramaru hit by pitch. Nagata steals third, the scores on Bottom’s fly to center which is an E8 (CF misses the ball), MPI 5, STL 5. Shackles’ sac bunt advances the runners. Muramaru scores from third on a wild pitch, MPI 6, STL 5. Igarashi beats out a grounder to third for a single, scoring Bottom, MPI 7, STL 5. Yamaguchi beats out a bunt single to second. New pitcher Jacob White replaces Abreu. Igarashi thrown out at third on a steal attempt, two outs. Kiyotaki flies out to left, third out. Three runs, three hits, two errors, one left on base. MPI 7, STL 5.
STL: Mopas singles to right. Gribbin at the plate, 3-2 count – after five throws to first base and five foul balls, Mopas picked off and tagged out 1-6-3, one out. Gribbin strikes out looking on a curve ball, two outs. Kuhns grounds out to the pitcher for the third out. No runs, one hit, no errors, none left on base. MPI 7, STL 5.
MPI: Lum walks, replaced by a courtesy runner (Hunter Hill). Yamashiro hit by pitch as he squared up to bunt. Nagata also HBP as he squared to bunt, loading the bases. Muramaru hits into a 4-6-3 double play, scoring CR Hill, MPI 8, STL 5. Bottom reaches on an infield single to second, scoring Yamashiro, MPI 9, STL 5. Shackles lines a single to left. CR Infante enters for Shackles. Igarashi flies out to left for the third out. Two runs, two hits, no errors, two left on base. MPI 9, STL 5.
STL: Yamamoto pops out to shortstop. Stubblefield grounds to first, two outs. Uchima singles to center. Atiburcio flies out to center, three outs. No runs, one hit, no errors, one left on base. MPI 9, STL 5.
MPI: Yamaguchi reaches on an E6. Kiyotaki HBP. PH Oley’s sac bunt advances the runners. Yamaguchi out on a rundown (ran out of the basepath) on a busted suicide squeeze with Yamashiro at the plate, two outs, with Kiyotaki advancing to third. Yamashiro then singles to right, scoring Kiyotaki, MPI 10, STL 5. Nagata grounds out to short for the third out. One run, one hit, one error, one left on base. MPI 10, STL 5.
STL: Meilleur leads off with a walk. CR Brett Uchima in for Meilleur. Romero lines out to second, one out. Mopas grounds out to the pitcher, two outs. Gribbin takes a ball, C Shackles visit the mound. Gribbins grounds out to shortstop on the next pitch, three outs. No runs, no hits, no errors, one left on base. MPI 10, STL 5.
MPI: Muramaru pop out to shortstop. Bottom ground out to pitcher, two outs. Shackles grounds out to short, three outs. No runs, no hits, no errors, none left on base. MPI 10, STL 5.
STL: Kuhns singles to center. PR Anthony Lau replaces him. Yamamoto reaches on an infield single to short. Stubblefield lines out to right, one out, but RF’s throw to first on a double-play attempt sails wide for an E9, runners advance. Maekawa balks, allowing Lau to score from third, MPI 10, STL 6. Uchima singles to center, scoring Yamamoto, MPI 10, STL 7. Atiburcio HBP, runners at second and first. Meilleur sends 3-2 pitch to left, line-drive single to load the bases. Romero strikes out on an inside fastball, two outs. Mopas lines a single to right, scoring Uchima, MPI 10, STL 8. Bases still loaded. Gribbin grounds out to the pitcher for the third out. Three runs, five hits, no errors, three left on base.
FINAL: MPI 10, STL 8.
Mid-Pacific wins the tournament and will meet regular-season winner Saint Louis on Monday for the ILH championship at ‘Iolani’s field.