(Here’s the long version of what ran in this morning’s Star-Advertiser.)
For the ‘Iolani Raiders, the fourth time was the charm.
After losing to Kamehameha three times during the regular season, the Raiders ousted the Warriors 7-3 on Tuesday to stay alive in the ILH baseball double-elimination tournament.
‘Iolani, with one loss in the tourney, will meet Saint Louis today at Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park in another elimination game.
At Mid-Pacific’s Damon Field, the Raiders (10-8) came through with strong outings by pitchers Caleb Duhay and Bronson Ichimura, who combined on a three-hitter. Duhay lasted just 2 2/3 innings, but had the lead before stepping aside for Ichimura. The junior southpaw went the remaining 4 1/3 innings, permitting no runs on two hits. He struck out two and walked one for the win despite staying off the mound in recent weeks because of a back injury.
They pitched well enough to overcome Kamehameha ace Keenan Lum.
“I’m happy for the boys. They battled back,” Raiders coach Brent Shimokawa said. “Fortunately, good things went our way this time. Keenan threw a very good game. We’re fortunate.”
The Raiders played error-free defense. Kamehameha (9-7-2) had three miscues, including two on a key play in the second inning that opened the door — a flood of five runs — by ‘Iolani.
“That’s usually the difference in these guys. If they give you extra outs in an inning, good things will happen. That second inning was big for us. That changed the whole complexion of the game. Kamehameha likes to run and they’re very offensive minded. If you’re down two, three, four runs, it’s tough to play big ball, so we’re very fortunate.”
In the second frame, with two runners on base, Matt Campos’ sacrifice bunt started the bizzaro action. Kamehameha pitcher Keenan Lum scooped up the ball, looked to third base, and then misfired on his throw to first. That allowed Corey Nakakura to score from second, but when the throw came home to catcher Kekai Rios, he jogged toward second base, where Campos had overrun the bag. Rios misfired on his throw, which ricocheted into the outfield, allowing Duhay and Campos to score.
Suddenly, it was 3-0 in ‘Iolani’s favor. Moments later, Josh Inouye’s sacrifice fly to right scored Fong from third and a double to right by Christian Donahue brought Max Look home for a five-run Raiders cushion.
Four of the five runs in the frame were unearned.
“One play obviously hurt us, but we still had opportunities,” Warriors coach Billy Pieper said. “We just couldn’t get the hit at the right time.”
Kamehameha scored three times in the bottom of the third inning off Duhay, who walked three batters to load the bases. Kody Cacal followed with a walk, forcing in Makana Arakaki. James De Jesus then belted a double to center off Ichimura, bringing home William Young and Kahoea Akau, and the Warriors trailed 5-3.
They got runners in scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings without scoring.
Josh Souza was strong in relief for Kamehameha, but he was tagged for two runs in the top of the seventh. Inaba was plunked on the head and Nakakura followed with blast over the fence in right center, giving ‘Iolani a four-run lead.
“I’m happy for Corey. He works extremely hard,” Shimokawa said.
Ichimura then retired the Warriors in order to end the game.
Each team left nine runners on base.
“Best of luck to ‘Iolani. This league is so competitive, man,” Pieper said. “I’m excited for next year, a lot of guys coming back. But we had opportunities.”
Duhay was somewhat erratic but managed to dodge trouble in the first two innings. He finished with three strikeouts and seven walks issued.
“The team did a good job of battling through. It was great for the team to come together and get out of those situations,” Duhay said. “I’m so glad I have such good teammates who can pick me up.”
Ichimura didn’t expect to go four-plus innings, but watching the first few innings from the bench helped.
“I saw the umpire’s zone was little smaller today. I just had to pick at corners today, pick at my spots,” said Ichimura, who was cleared to pitch again this week. “Keenan is a great pitcher. I’m very happy that Duhay could go step for step with him,” Ichimura said. “Hopefully, we’re still alive through the whole thing.”
The Raiders need a win over Saint Louis today to stay alive.
“The ILH is rough. Kamehameha, Saint Louis, Mid-Pac, Punahou, everybody is good. You have to play solid baseball to have the best opportunity,” Shimokawa said.
At Damon Field
‘Iolani (10-8) 050 000 2 — 7 9 0
Kamehameha (9-7-2) 003 000 0 — 3 3 3
Caleb Duhay, Bronson Ichimura (3) and Joshua Inaba. Keenan Lum, Josh Souza (4), Ulu Farm (7) and Kekai Rios. W—Ichimura. L—Lum.
Leading hitters—‘Iolani: Max Look 2-3, BB; Christian Donahue 2-4, 2B, RBI, run; Corey Nakakura 1-3, HR, 2 RBIs, run. Kamehameha: James De Jesus 1-2, double, 2 RBIs.