Occasional showers have departed Manoa Valley in favor of perfect conditions. No. 6 Kamehameha (1-0 ILH) visits No. 1 Mid-Pacific (1-0 ILH).
The Warriors get their leadoff man, Kahoea Akau, on base with a single, but the next batter grounds into a 6-4-3 double play. Steady inning for Chase Wago, all strikes.
Tyler Yamaguchi leads of the Owls’ bottom half of the inning with a walk on four pitches off Kamehameha pitcher Joshua Souza. After a fielder’s choice grounder, Noah Shackles lines a single to center. With two outs, the Owls have runners at the corners and bait the Warriors into a rundown off first. Sean Kinel does the job, and Alexander Oley scores well before Kinel is finally tagged out. OWLS 1, WARRIORS 0.
Codie Paiva leads off and gives a great battle with six foul balls on a two-strike count. He finally grounds out to short for the first out. Chance Arakaki follows with a single up the middle nearly snagged by the second baseman. The ball glances off the CF momentarily and one of the backseat drivers here at comfy Damon Field urges Arakaki to take second. Fortunately for the Warriors, Arakaki wisely stayed put. One of the things I’ll always love about prep baseball is that no matter how large or small the audience, you can hear EVERYBODY, and sometimes that makes life a little funnier.
MPI third baseman Trevin Tengan was huge in this frame. His stab toward the line on a tough grounder by Brandon Henderson prevented a single, and then he stopped a hard shot by Matthew Yakota that would’ve brought in Arakaki. That ball ended up in the hands of MPI shortstop Tyler Yamaguchi, who nearly got Yakota at first. Lawson Faria’s fly out to left ended the threat.
Souza settled down in the bottom of the second, retiring the side in order.
Talk about a perfectly-placed hit. With two outs, Kody Cacal singles to center, runs on a 1-1 pitch to draw the second baseman to second base, and Kekai Rios blasts a ground ball in the vacated spot. The ball reaches the fence in right center, scoring Cacal easily, and Rios stops at second with an RBI double. After Paiva works the count and draws a walk, Arakaki swings away at the first pitch and homers over the center-field fence 333 feet away. WARRIORS 4, OWLS 1.
Henderson follows with a double to right center. Yokota follows with a grounder in the hole at short, and Yamaguchi tries to get Henderson at third, but it’s too late. Yokota safe at first, runners at the corners for KS. Faria’s high chopper to third is handled by Tengan for the final out of the inning.
Davin Takinishi walks with one out and moves to second on a single by Yamaguchi. With two outs, Shackles slices a drive to deep center for a double, scoring Takinishi. WARRIORS 4, OWLS 2.
The next batter, Sean Kinel, works the count full before getting called out on a check-swing third strike. Owl fans hooting over that call.
Warriors go in quick order in the top of the fourth. The Owls do likewise.
Wago retires Rios on a grounder to third, but Paiva doubles into the left-field corner. After Wago throws a ball to Arakaki, who is 2-for-2 with a homer at this point, coach Dunn Muramaru closes the book on his southpaw. Grant Doi is now warming up on the mound. Wago threw 80 pitches.
The move pays off. Doi gets Arakaki to ground out to second, and Henderson grounds out to third. Tengan with nice range on that slow grounder to his left.
Jacob Maekawa leads off the bottom of the fifth with a single to left, and after a sac bunt moves Maekawa to second, Warriors coach Tom Perkins calls it a day for his starting pitcher, Souza. He’s replaced by senior Ladd Ah Choy. Souza went 4 1/3 innings with two strikeouts and two walks. He threw 60 pitches.
Ah Choy gets the job done. Yamaguchi flies out to center and Oley grounds out to first on a nice play by the first baseman, Henderson, and Ah Choy.
Warriors threatening again. Yokota walks and advances to second on a wild pitch. The count is 2-1 on Faria when Muramaru makes a quick visit to the mound. Yokota moves to third on a groundout, and with two outs, he scores on Akau’s line-drive single to left. WARRIORS 5, OWLS 2.
Owl fans get heated after a pickoff throw by Doi appears to nab Akau, but the field umpire has to confer with the plate ump, and he rules that the runner is safe. Now Muramaru is discussing the matter with the field ump.
The inning ends with Akau thrown out at second on a steal attempt by Owls catcher Shackles.
The Owls get a runner on base — an infield single by Ryne Yamashiro — but Wago (re-entry) grounds out to end the inning. Ah Choy has fared well so far.
Noah Sills, a lefty, has entered the game as MPI’s third pitcher of the day. He retires the visitors in order.
Tengan leads off the bottom of the seventh with a short chopper in front of the plate. Ah Choy descends on the ball and throws wildly to first. Tengan had the play beat (barely) and advances to second as the Warriors chase the ball down near the bullpen. Perkins calls time out to switch second basemen, bringing Micah McNicoll for Akau.
The Owls have a long history of late-inning magic and mojo on this field. We’ll see.
Maekawa battles back from an 0-2 count to 2-2, fouling off three pitches, before flying out to right for the first out. Takanishi strikes out on a called third strike, and Yamaguchi grounds to second, ending the game.