It’s a cool, overcast afternoon at Les Murakami Stadium. Fourth-ranked Kamehameha is the visitor and Punahou is the home team. The game is underway with nice work from the UH field maintenance crew, who kept the mound nice and dry on this drizzy day. The ILH is in the midst of three playing dates here at one of the nation’s most beautiful college stadiums. Life is good.
Punahou’s Noah Goss on the mound. His counterpart is Chase Miyasato, a sophomore. Both are southpaws.
The wet, rubberized surface may be a hindrance that takes getting used to. The Warriors already have a leadoff man (Akau) on base after an infield error (ground ball) and a single to left.
After Kekai Rios’ bunt single loads the bases, Kahoea Akau is forced out at home on a fielder’s choice grounder. Then Chance Arakaki grounds to third, where 3B Easton Takamoto steps on the bag for a forceout. His throw to first bounces and is dropped by the first baseman, but Rios takes a wide turn at third. 1B Michael Viola throws to third and Rios is tagged out short of home in a rundown for the second out. Earlier in the play, Matthew Yokota scored from third easily.
Kody Cacal follows with a single to center, scoring courtesy runner Kawaiola Takemura (in for Paiva, who had singled) from second for a 2-0 lead. Goss then gets Brandon Henderson to fly out to right. WARRIORS 2, BUFFANBLU 0.
The bottom of the first is looking like a mirror image of the top. Punahou has loaded the bases with no outs. Drizzle continues as one of Kamehameha’s assistant coaches visits Miyasato on the mound.
With one out, Mason Asato walks on five pitches, forcing home Jantzen Tamanaha (leadoff single) from third. WARRIORS 2, BUFFANBLU 1.
Scott Nishioka follows with a sacrifice fly to right, bringing home Easton Takamoto (walk). WARRIORS 2, BUFFANBLU 2.
Miyasato gets Michael Viola to fly out to left, ending the inning.
Huge break for the Buffanblu. Makoa Mau, who had singled to right to lead the frame off, was attempting to score on Akau’s double to right-center. On the throw home by (I believe) the shortstop, Mau ran through catcher Hunter Chow and was immediately called out and ejected from the game.
The fairly new rule protects catchers on home-plate collisions. There was some barking from Kamehameha fans that Chow had stepped up the line as he prepared to catch the ball — getting himself into Mau’s path. But the call stands. Goss recovers to retire the side.
Miyasato is getting into a groove. Punahou is three up, three down.
The weather has cleared a bit. Some blue sky over Diamond Head. Drizzling has stopped. Some rays hitting the outfield.
Wondering if the ejection means Mau, Kamehameha’s CF, will have an automatic one-game suspension on top of this ejection.
The Warriors take advantage of some erratic throwing by Goss, who hits a batter, walks another an throws two wild pitches in the inning. In all, it’s a three-run frame for Kamehameha. Paiva’s single to center scores Rios (walk), and two more runs score when Nicholas Penzetta (Mau’s replacement), sends a grounder to third. 3B Takamoto’s throw to first sails high, and Paiva and Arakaki score. WARRIORS 5, BUFFANBLU 2.
Miyasato continues to roll, setting the side down in order. That’s seven batters retired in a row.
Goss surrenders a one-out single to Yokota, but the Warriors do no other damage.
Miyasato is humming along. Punahou three up three down. That’s 10 consecutive batters retired by Miyasato.
The Warriors manufacture a run with a single by Arakaki, who steals second and scores on Brandon Henderson’s single to left. Goss hangs on, though, and despite giving up two more singles and throwing a wild pitch, gets out of the inning. He retires Micah McNicoll on a fly out to right and Akau on a fly out to left. WARRIORS 6, BUFFANBLU 2.
Kai Terada-Herzer leads off Punahou’s inning with a bunt single — Miyasato slipped when he tried to pick the baseball up — but Cole Cabrera follows with a 6-4-3 double play. Miyasato then whiffs Tamanaha to end the inning. Miyasato has now retired 12 of the last 14 batters, and Punahou hasn’t had a runner in scoring position since the first.
Kamehameha put the game out of reach with a 12-run sixth inning, sending 16 batters to the plate.
Yokota, who was 3-for-4, led off with a double and scored one of his two runs on a two-run single by Kody Cacal off relief pitcher Parker Wong. Brandon Henderson’s triple to right brought home two more runs. After Kahoea Akau singled in a run and Yokota brought home two more with a single to right, the Warriors led 14-2. Henderson added a three-run double to left. WARRIORS 18, BUFFANBLU 2.
The Buffanblu send up a row of pinch hitters against Kamehameha reliever Mason Quinlan and score three runs. Game ends by the 10-run rule. FINAL: WARRIORS 18, BUFFANBLU 5.