Here are the complete stories from Thursday’s quarterfinal games at the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division I State Baseball Championships at Iron Maehara Stadium, Wailuku, Maui. (Space limitations, Baldwin-Campbell game ran late.)
WAILUKU >> Pitcher Ryan Muraoka didn’t get credit for the win, but he came through at the finish anyway.
Muraoka’s three-run homer in the top of the 10th boosted Mid-Pacific to an 8-5 win over Hilo in 10 innings yesterday in the quarterfinals of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division I State Baseball Championships.
Muraoka, the first batter to face Hilo’s third pitcher, Ridge Hoopii-Haslam, lifted a high fly to left. Mother Nature took care of the rest.
“It was a fastball, kind of low,” said Muraoka, who pitched seven innings and hit 3-for-6. “I was kind of looking for it.”
The two-out clout started out as a deep fly ball as Hilo left fielder Sidney Wong began to run out of space near the corner.
“The wind took it up. I said, ‘Please get far enough so he doesn’t catch it,’ ” Muraoka said.
Walks by Justin Protacio and Nikolas Alarcio preceded Muraoka’s hit, helping the Owls win despite four errors. Hilo, the No. 4 seed, was 12-0 in Big Island Interscholastic Federation play.
The win was MPI’s second in a span of 20 hours after a late-night win over Maui on Wednesday.
“We won, whether it’s by one run or three, it’s a win. That’s all that counts,” Owls coach Dunn Muramaru said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s ugly or pretty.”
Mid-Pacific (24-7 overall) will meet Pearl City or Punahou in a 7 p.m. semifinal today. The game will be televised on OC 16.
Muraoka allowed five runs on nine hits, striking out five and walking none. Doi, the designated hitter, permitted two hits and fanned one in three innings for the win.
Hilo punched three runs across home plate in the first three innings for a 3-1 lead. Bradley Waiki doubled and came home on Chayse Kaaua’s single in the first.
An inning later, Wong doubled and scored on a single to center by Hoopii-Haslam. In the third, Waiki homered to left and Hilo seemed on the verge of knocking out the Interscholastic League of Honolulu’s second-place team.
Jordan Obata’s liner to center sailed over Hilo’s Dylan Guthier for an inside-the-park-home run as MPI pulled within 3-2 in the fourth inning.
Then came a three-run fifth inning for the Owls. Alarcio singled and later scored on a balk, and Obata came through with a two-run double to right center, scoring Muraoka and Doi for a 5-3 MPI lead.
The twirling, swirling winds of Maehara proved a factor all game long. Two errors by MPI, plus a tricky pop-up dropped by Protacio, led to two runs by Hilo in the bottom of the seventh.
Tagawa’s single to center scored Guthier for the tying run.
Hilo’s Wong and MPI’s Doi were stellar in relief for the next two innings before Muraoka came through with the homer.
“Even though we lost, we fought back. We showed a lot of heart against a good Mid-Pac team,” Tagawa said. “They kept fighting back, too.”
At Maehara Stadium
Mid-Pacific (16-4) 100 130 000 3 — 8 11 4
Hilo (12-1) 111 000 200 0 — 5 10 3
Ryan Muraoka, Marcus Doi (8) and Dane Fujinaka. Dustin Tagawa, Sidney Wong (6), Ridge Hoopii-Haslam (10) and Chayse Kaaua. W—Doi. L—Wong.
Leading hitters—MPI: Justin Protacio 2-5; Nikolas Alarcio 3-5; Ryan Muraoka 3-6, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 runs; Jordan Obata 3-4, HR, double, 3 RBIs; Hilo: Bradley Waiki 2-5, HR, double, 2 runs; Dylan Guthier 2-5; Chayse Kaaua 2-5.
Saint Louis 4, Kailua 2
Jordan Fukumoto doubled and scored the game’s first run on a single by Kaleo Aliviado in the top of the sixth inning as the Crusaders (27-4 overall) went on to win a pitcher’s duel.
Christopher Chung went the distance, scattering eight hits. The senior right-hander struck out four and walked none. His arsenal of pitches, particularly a tailing fastball, was buoyed by the cross winds.
“My two-seam fastball was working great. The wind is a factor. You want to pitch on the outside part of the plate,” Chung said.
His counterpart, Alika Ramseyer-Ho, allowed just two hits through five innings.
“Chris has been lights out his last three games. So was Alika,” Saint Louis coach George Gusman said. “We had some poor baserunning, but that’s just excitement. Hopefully, having one game in helps.”
After Fukumoto scored the first run, Kalei Contrades socked a two-run single to give Saint Louis a 3-0 lead.
Kailua catcher Alan Baldwin belted a run-scoring double in the bottom of the sixth to cut the margin, but Saint Louis added a run in the top of the seventh. Ka‘ai Tom doubled and scored on Kyle Watase’s single to give the Crusaders a 4-1 lead.
Rory Sasaoka’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the seventh plated Kailua’s second run, but they got no closer.
The feisty nature of both teams was entertaining at times.
“I know a lot of those guys, grew up with some of them,” Chung said. “You just gotta play your game and not let the talking et to you. Let your game do the talking.”
Saint Louis last won a state title in 1974.
“We’re all confident and pumped, just having fun,” Chung said. “Not trying to do too much.”
ILH champion Saint Louis (27-4 overall) will meet Baldwin or Campbell in today’s 4 p.m. semifinal.
Saint Louis (17-2) 000 003 1 — 4 10 2
Kailua (13-4) 000 001 1 — 2 8 3
Chris Chung and Moses Samia. Alika Ramseyer-Ho and Alan Baldwin. W—Chung. L—Ramseyer-Ho.
Leading hitters—SL: Jordan Fukumoto 2-3, double; Kaeo Aliviado 2-4; Samia 2-3.
Punahou 6, Pearl City 1
Muenster was the blue monster again for Pearl City.
The sophomore, injured for most of the regular season, pitched six innings and struck out nine without issuing a walk as the six-time defending state champs eliminated Pearl City from title contention.
Unseeded Punahou (20-7-1 overall) will meet rival Mid-Pacific in today’s 7 p.m. semifinal.
It was the first loss of the season for Pearl City (28-1-1), which is ranked No. 1 in the state.
Last year, in the same quarterfinal round, Muenster pitched four innings in relief to get the win as unseeded Punahou upset top-seeded Pearl City 3-1. That night, the then-freshman allowed no runs and just one hit.
This time, he permitted just one run to spoil the Chargers’ run, outlasting Pearl City ace Kahana Neal, who kept a lid on Punahou through three innings.
Muenster pitched two innings in Punahou’s opening-round win over Mililani on Wednesday before taking the mound again last night.
“He wanted the ball, but you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Punahou coach Eric Kadooka said. “He got stronger and got more confident.”
Muenster mesmerized the Chargers with a precise fastball and tempting curve ball.
“He throws it a little slower (this year). Last year’s curve was more of a hump,” Kadooka said. “Now it’s more of an ‘Uncle Charley’ kind of pitch. We call in on 2-0 (counts) sometimes.”
Punahou broke through with two runs in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Rick Nomura doubled and later came home on a balk, and Ryan Yamane’s single up the middle plated Reece Toma for a 2-0 Punahou lead.
In the fifth, Nomura came through again with a single to right that brought home Kaiana Eldredge and pinch runner Roy Fuchigami, giving the Buffanblu a 4-0 cushion.
“He was getting tired I guess, leaving mistakes out there for us to hit,” Nomura said. “He still had his splitter. It’s the best pitch I’ve ever seen in my career.”
The Chargers finally got their first hit off Muenster in the bottom of the fifth, patching together singles by Neal, Tyler Tokunaga and Jordan Oshiro. Neal scored on Oshiro’s two-out hit to cut the lead to three runs. A diving catch by Punahou left fielder Kainoa Crowell on a line drive off the bat of Jordan Oshiro ended the inning.
Punahou added two more runs in the sixth. Eldredge’s double to left with the bases loaded gave the Buffanblu a 6-1 lead.
Michael Suiter came home from third on a wild pitch, and Alaka‘i Aglipay followed with a single to left, scoring Eldredge for a four-run lead.
“We didn’t hit the ball for four innings, and that balk kind of changed the momentum,” Pearl City coach Gary Nakamoto said. “You give Punahou one run and they’ll take advantage. They executed and we didn’t.”
Punahou (12-5-1) 000 224 0 — 8 11 0
Pearl City (15-1) 000 010 0 — 1 3 3
Kahana Neal, Kawika Pruett (6) and Isaac Shim, Royce Murai (6). Zachery Muenster, Kaiana Eldredge (7) and Kaiana Eldredge, Reece Toma (7). W—Muenster. L—Neal.
Leading hitters—Punahou: Michael Suiter 2-4; Eldredge 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Alaka‘i Aglipay 2-4; Rick Nomura 2-4, 2 RBIs.
Baldwin 13, Campbell 2, 6 inn.
In the final contest of the night, Brysen Dafun fired a four-hitter and belted a run-scoring triple in a five-run fourth inning for the Bears.
Dafun struck out three and walked four, permitting one earned run in a game shortened due to the 10-run rule.
Baldwin (24-4 overall) got a two-run single from Brock Shishido to take the lead in the third inning.
In the fourth, two errors and two wild pitches by Campbell helped Baldwin score five more runs. Kaulana Ching’s double to right brought in two runs, and Dafun’s triple brought Ching home for a 7-1 lead.
The Bears padded the lead when Neil Morioka scored from first on a single by Dafun and a consequent error in left field. Shishido’s opposite-field single scored Ching to give the Maui Interscholastic League champs a 9-1 cushion.
James Uwekoolani added a towering three-run tater in the same inning.
Baldwin (14-1) 002 506 — 13 11 3
Campbell (11-6) 100 001 — 2 4 4
Brysen Dafun and Daniel Kinoshita. Robert Kahana, Edward Gascon (4), Matthew Joao (6) and Chadwick Kaalekahi. W—Dafun. L—Kahana.
Leading hitters—Baldwin: Brock Shishido 3-4, 3 RBIs; Neil Morioka 2-4, 2 runs; James Uwekoolani 2-3, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 runs.
Paul Honda, Star-Bulletin