(Here’s the original content, extended version, of the first-round games of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball D-I Championships on Maui. Yes, it’s long. That’s why the print version is much shorter. God bless our editors.)
WAILUKU — Better late than never for the Mililani Trojans.
Mililani reached Waipahu ace Dylan Sugimoto for two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a stunning 2-1 win on Wednesday in the opening round of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championships at Iron Maehara Stadium.
OIA runner-up Mililani (11-7) will play the tourney’s top seed, hometown favorite Baldwin, in today’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal game.
Sophomore Sean Sonognini delivered the game-tying run with a double to the left-field corner and Kanoa Wong’s sacrifice fly brought home pinch runner Chase Miyachi with the winning run.
Until the seventh, Sugimoto, a crafty junior southpaw, had a three-hit shutout going.
But two infield errors by Waipahu factored in its demise. Wong was the happy opportunist. After committing an early error that led to a run by Waipahu in the fourth inning, he got a pitch he liked and came up with his biggest offensive swing of the season.
“I tried to get something deep into the outfield. He threw a fastball down the middle,” said Kanoa, who came up to bat with the bases loaded and one out. “The game wasn’t going my way so I stayed with what I know, the basics. I feel good about the (sacrifice fly), but I don’t feel good about the error. Baseball is a game of failure.”
Mililani coach Mark Hirayama’s team stayed focused as it trailed going into the final innings.
“If you can’t handle the failure, you can’t play the game,” he said. “Kanoa has battled for us all year.”
Cole Nakachi survived four innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
“He didn’t have his best stuff, but he kept us in the game,” Hirayama said.
Cristian Namoca was clutch in relief, permitting no runs or hits in three innings with two strikeouts and two walks.
“We’ve got a pretty deep staff. I just tell them, ‘Give me what you got for as long as you can,’ ” Hirayama said.
Sugimoto appeared ready for another conquest of the Trojans. Waipahu swept Mililani during the OIA regular season, and he finished with four strikeouts and no walks on Wednesday.
“Any time he’s on the mound, he’s going to throw strikes and stay around the plate,” Hirayama said. “But giving any team extra at-bats will make it tough.”
After squandering an early opportunity — the Marauders left the bases loaded in the first — they plated a unearned run in the fourth. Joshua Maglangit reached on a throwing error by Wong, the second baseman, and Guy Villanueva was hit by a pitch. Two outs later, Graysen Fuentes grounded a single up the middle to score Wong.
The seventh inning was a parade of pinch hitters off the Trojans bench. PInch hitter Kellen Otsu’s grounder to short turned into an error by Justin Padilla. Ekolu Ramos laid down a sacrifice bunt to move over Awai, the pinch runner. Then Sonognini, who played on the JV team last fall, belted a first-pitch double down the line to score Awai.
Trevor Inouye’s grounder to third turned into a throwing error by Tyler Enos. Like the earlier error, the throw was slightly off line and forced the first baseman, Maglangit, to reach and attempt to tag the baserunner. Both times, the ball squirted free.
After Sugimoto hit pinch hitter Justice Nakagawa to load the bases, Wong sent a fly ball to relatively short center field, but the throw by Jordan Mendiola was up the line and Miyachi scored easily.
Waipahu (9-7), the sixth-place team from the OIA, will play the ‘Iolani-Kailua loser in a 9 a.m. consolation matchup.
At Iron Maehara Stadium
Waipahu (9-7) 000 100 0 — 1 3 3
Mililani (11-7) 000 000 2 — 2 4 2
One out when winning run scored.
Dylan Sugimoto and Graysen Fuentes. Cole Nakachi, Cristian Namoca (4) and Jamesson Madrid. W—Namoca. L—Sugimoto.
Leading hitters—Waipahu: Fuentes 1-3, RBI. Mililani: Sean Sonognini 1-1, double, RBI.
Waiakea 14, Leilehua 3
Someone had to step up and solve Kevin Yee’s puzzle.
The Waiakea coach searched for an opening-round hurler, hoping to save his top arms for the second and third rounds of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championships. Yee didn’t have to look far.
He put shortstop Alika Guillermo on the mound, and the senior came through with six sterling innings in Waiakea’s 14-3 runaway win over Leilehua. He needed only 69 pitches as the defending state champions advanced to the quarterfinal round. They’ll meet second-seeded Mid-Pacific today in a 2 p.m. game.
“I’m pretty surprised,” said Guillermo, was told just two days earlier he’d be making the third start of his career.
He finished with no earned runs allowed, allowing five hits. He fanned one and walked two.
“I don’t usually blow the ball past hitters. I let my defense make plays,” he said.
Yee was able to stash his two best pitchers, Kodi Medeiros and freshman Caleb Freitas-Fields, thanks to Guillermo. Medeiros didn’t pitch much during the regular season (sore arm), but got some action in last week’s BIIF playoffs.
“It was a calculated risk. If we went with our best two, it would be tough to get far,” Yee said.
Leilehua ace Cody Academia had Waiakea under wraps through three innings.
“Academia pitched a heck of a game,” Yee said. “The jitters got the best of us at the beginning, swinging at his off-speed pitches, but we made adjustments.”
Once they got going, Waiakea’s bats accumulated 13 hits. Medeiros and Aaron Nishiura drove in three runs each. The Warriors took advantage of four Mules errors, but committed three of their own.
After Leilehua failed to capitalize in the bottom of the third, leaving runners at the corners, Waiakea took control with a three-run fourth inning. The starting pitcher, Guillermo, led off with a single and came home on a double to the right field corner by Kodi Medeiros. Aaron Nishiura’s double to deep left plated Medeiros and Andrew Filoteo III for a 3-0 lead.
Cody Academia, the Mules’ ace, threw 34 pitches in the inning.
Just as the defending state champs seized momentum, the Mules staggered them in the bottom of the fourth. Two Warrior errors, including one on an errant pickoff throw by Guillermo, led to a a two-run rally. Jonah Paas’ single to left scored Academia, and a delayed steal resulted in a run by Jarred Chai, who scored from third when a return throw by shortstop Chase Komatsu hit the dirt.
The Warriors benefited from two Leilehua errors in the fifth. Nishiura’s single to left brought Caleb Freitas-Fields home, and Filoteo followed in for another run after the left fielder, Ricky Van Gelder, muffed the ball.
Leilehua pulled within 6-3 with the help of a Waiakea error in the bottom of the fifth, but Kean Wong’s deep triple to the 360-foot mark at the right-center wall brought Trevor Shimokusu home to stretch the lead back to four runs. That chased Academia, who threw 96 pitches.
Guillermo’s sacrifice fly to center brought Wong home for an 8-3 lead. Freitas-Fields, a freshman, then socked an 0-2 pitch from Brandon Smithe to the wall in left center, scoring Medeiros for a 9-3 lead.
Five more runs in the seventh by Waiakea put the game well out of reach. Right fielder Andrew Filoteo ended the game with a spectacular diving catch in right-center on a ball hit by Paas.
“Today was Alika’s day,” said catcher Kean Wong, who was 3-for-5 with a triple, three runs and two RBIs. “I knew he could handle it. I told him to just throw strikes, and his change-up was good.”
Does this put Waiakea on track for a repeat title?
“I think we can,” Wong said. “But it’s going to be hard.”
At Iron Maehara Stadium
Waiakea 000 333 5 — 14 13 3
Leilehua 000 210 0 — 3 5 4
Alika Guillermo, Calvin Uemura (7) and Kean Wong. Cody Academia, Brandon Smithe (6), Dancin Ah Quin (6), Nickolas Rivera (7) and Ian Kaopua. W—Guillermo. L—Academia.
Leading hitters—Waiakea: Kean Wong 3-5, triple, 3 runs, 2 RBIs; Guillermo 1-2, 3 RBIs; Medeiros 2-3 double, 3 RBIs; Caleb Freitas-Fields 2-5, double, RBI, run; Aaron Nishiura 2-4, double, 3 RBIs. Leilehua: Jonah Paas 2-4.
Kailua 2, ‘Iolani 0
Kailua pitcher Wyatt Dalessio fired a two-hitter and his teammates came through with the game’s only runs in the sixth inning to advance to the quarterfinals.
“I felt relaxed. We have nothing to lose,” said Dalessio, who spotted his fastball and curve consistently. “But my change-up was off.”
The 6-foot senior fanned five, including two in the final inning, and walked two.
“He’s been pitching like that the last couple of outings. We expect that out of all our pitchers,” Kailua coach Corey Ishigo said, noting a strong performance by Dalessio earlier in the season against Pearl City.
Kahaku Iaea’s opposite-field single brought home Corey Louis-Soares for the game’s first run in the top of the sixth as the Surfriders hung on for a narrow in over the ILH runner-up. On the same play, Wyatt Dalessio rounded third and scored behind Iaea when the throw from right field went astray, and Kailua led 2-0.
“We’ve been waiting for that from him all year,” Ishigo said of Iaea.
Now the Surfriders have all kinds of momentum after knocking out the ILH’s Cinderella team.
“Who knows what will happen. We’ll try our best every day,” Ishigo said.
The Surfriders will meet fourth-seeded Hilo today at 11:30 a.m.
At Iron Maehara Stadium
Kailua (11-5) 000 002 0 — 2 6 3
‘Iolani (8-10) 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Wyatt Dalessio and Royce Komesu. Bronson Ichimura, Corey Nakakura (7) and J.R. Matsuura. W—Dalessio. L—Ichimura.
Leading hitters—Kailua: Corey Louis-Soares 3-4, double, run; Bryce Ah Sam 2-3. ‘Iolani: none.
Maui 4, Pearl City 3
Senior Micah Isagawa went six innings and Mark Karaviotis survived a Charger comeback in the seventh inning as the Sabers advanced before a near-capacity hometown crowd.
Isagawa scattered seven hits and gave up two runs, including just one earned. He struck out two and walked one, handing a 4-2 lead to Karaviotis, the starter at shortstop.
The 6-0 Oregon recruit threw 36 pitches in the final frame, walking three Chargers. One was issued to Keanu Neal with the bases loaded, allowing Pearl City to cut the lead to 4-3.
But Kyle Tom’s grounder to first was fielded cleanly by Isagawa, who threw high to home plate. Catcher Jaylan Suda leaped to take the throw, turned and dove to make the tag on home plate a split second before Colby Hirano could score the tying run.
Karaviotis then struck out Sean Milan for the final out.
Pearl City entered the tourney as the OIA’s fifth-place team. Maui is the the MIL runner-up.
Down 1-0 early, the Sabers came alive in the bottom of the second with four runs, aided by a Pearl City error. Samuel Sutton drove in a run with a squeeze bunt. The squeeze play was close, with Tokunaga making a great effort, scooping the baseball and tossing it at the same time to catcher Keanu Neal. However, Neal was on the ground, his foot off home plate according to the umpire, and Ishikawa was ruled safe.
Tokunaga seemed to argue that his catcher was pushed off the plate by Ishikawa.
Tokunaga then walked the next batter, Dustin Kokubun, to force in Jacob Tiu from third. After Sutton scored on a delayed steal and T.J. Molina drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, the Sabers led 4-1.
At Iron Maehara Stadium
Pearl City (11-6) 010 001 1 — 3 8 1
Maui (12-4) 040 000 x — 4 6 1
Tanner Tokunaga, Sean Milan (6) and Kamalu Neal. Micah Isagawa, Mark Karaviotis (7) and Jaylan Suda. W—Isagawa. L—Tokunaga. S—Karaviotis.
Leading hitters—Pearl City: Tokunaga 2-3, run. Maui: Chazz Ishikawa 2-2, run.