WAILUKU — The gray clouds have blown away and the sun is shining down upon Iron Maehara Stadium as the first semifinal game between Mililani, the OIA’s sixth-place team, and the OIA’s third-place team, Pearl City, is ready to begin. Koa Eastlack, who spun a scoreless seventh inning in Mililani’s stunning upset of No. 1 Mid-Pacific yesterday, draws the start today. Torey Chun starts on the mound for Pearl City.
The OIA West rivals met twice during the regular season. The Chargers won both games.
Pearl City is the visiting team (coin toss). Colby Hirano grounds out before Sam Prentice bunts his way on base and Davin Kapuras singles to left. Count is 1-2 on Matt Yokota when Hirano takes off and slides head first into third base with a steal. Yokota battles at 2-2 with a couple of foul balls, then sends a fly ball to right center. Prentice scores without a serious challenge on the sac fly. PC 1, MIL 0.
1-1 count on Christian Onomura when Kapuras steals second base without a throw. Again, a steal proves valuable for the Chargers; Onomura chops a ball over the mound and SS Blaine DeMello’s throw on the run hits the dirt and skips past first base. Kapuras scores from second and Onomura advances to second base. PC 2, MIL 0.
Eastlack’s breaking ball gets Nakamura, a left-handed batter, to chase for strike three. That’s the third out. Eastlack threw 23 pitches in the inning.
Chun is a right-hander and throws from the stretch. He jumps ahead 0-2 on Kono, but Kono sends a ground ball up the middle to center for a single. Ibara drops a sac bunt that moves Kono to second base. Kaimana Souza-Paaluhi swings at the first pitch and grounds out to second. Two outs. Aris Nakagawa also goes after the first pitch and launches a drive to the left center fence. The ball ends up at the 370-foot sign as Kono scores from third. Nakagawa hustles for a stand-up double. PC 2, MIL 1.
Hunter Kirihara walks on four pitches with a wild pitch on the fourth pitch that goes to the backstop. Nakagawa advances to third base. Ke‘olu Ramos grounds out to third to end the inning.
Kaleb Nishijo leads off with a first-pitch fly out to right. DH Ansin Mostoles grounds out to third for the second out. Matt Aribal gets jammed and grounds out to the pitcher, Eastlack. After throwing 23 pitches in the first inning, Eastlack needs just five to get through the second frame.
Preston Morales leads off for Mililani, grounds out to second. Sheldon Lee works the count to 3-1 before flying out to right. DeMello grounds out to third for the third out. Chun has thrown 12 pitches in each of the first two innings.
Hirano leads off with a line single to center and advances to second on a groundout to short by Prentice. Kapuras hits a soft grounder to short, two outs. Yokota pops out to short right field, catch by 2B Kono. Just five pitches thrown by Eastlack, who now has a more economical 33 pitches thrown over three innings.
Kono grounds to short, Ibara strikes out swinging and Souza-Paaluhi grounds to first. Again, Chun throws precisely 12 pitches, the same he did for the first and second innings. His pitch count is now at 36. What started as a wild offensive slugfest has turned into a bit of a pitchers’ duel.
Onomura pops out and Nakamura flies out to right. Nishijo has a full count and hits a little ground ball toward third base near home plate. Ibara picks it up and makes the throw to first, but the home plate umpire rules it a foul ball. Next pitch, Nishijo sends a line drive to left for a single. Courtesy runner Trenton Darley steals second base with Mostoles at the plate. He takes off for third and Mostoles fouls a pitch off. Mostoles then flies out to center to end the inning.
Eighteen pitches in the inning by Eastlack, who now has a total count of 51.
Nakagawa leads off the bottom of the fourth. First pitch hits him on the side, belt high. Kirihara fouls off a bunt attempt, then lays down a sac bunt to move Nakagawa to second. Ramos swings at the first pitch, grounds out to first base. Nakagawa advances to third base with two outs. 1-0 count to Morales, he goes the opposite way, a hard grounder in the hole at short. SS Aribal loses it as he scoops it up, but it goes right to his throwing hand. His throw to first bounces twice and Morales beats it out. Ruled a hit. Nakagawa scores on the play to tie the game. MIL 2, PC 2.
Chun strikes out Lee to end the inning. Chun threw just 10 pitches in the frame and has 48 for the game.
Aribal first-pitch swinging, chops a grounder to first, one out. Hirano grounds out to short. Prentice ground ball to short, high throw by DeMello, but 1B Nakagawa makes a great effort to catch the ball and tag Prentice for the third out. Just four pitches thrown by Eastlack in that inning. Pitch count is now 55.
DeMello grounds out on the first pitch from Chun. Kono is down 1-2, grounds out to third. Ibara is ahead 2-1, grounds out to short on another nice play by Aribal. Both shortstops putting on a clinic this afternoon. Chun throws eight pitches in the inning. Pitch count now 56.
Kapuras grounds out to first. Yokota attempts to bunt on his first pitch, misses. He strikes out on a hard breaking ball by Eastlack. The lefty gets ahead of Onomura 1-2 and gets him to ground out to second base. That’s 12 pitches in the inning by Eastlack and 67 for the game.
Souza-Paaluhi leads off with a bunt single for the Trojans. Nakagawa swings through a fastball for a strike, then bunts foul. He battles back, full count. Deep fly ball to center, but CF Yokota chases it down. Kirihara flies out to center, two outs. Ramos grounds into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. The runner, Souza-Paaluhi ran on the pitch and seemed to slide into second before the forceout. Three outs. That’s 11 pitches by Chun in the inning and 67 total.
Eastlack strikes out Nakamura in a lefty-versus-lefty matchup. Nishijo swings at the first pitch, flies out to shallow right, two outs. Mostoles swings at the first pitch, soft liner to left for a single. Darley replaces him as a courtesy runner. Aribal hits a liner that Eastlack gets a glove on. Aribal safe at first with an infield single as Darley advances to second base. Eastlack strike out Hirano on three pitches, fastbreak tailing away on the third strike as Hirano misses.
Eleven pitches in the frame for Eastlack, 78 total.
Morales leads off for Mililani. 2-1 pitch, he sends the ball into the hole at second, but Hirano makes a diving stop, gets up and throws him out. Great play. Lee flies out to left. DeMello lines a shot to center for a single with two outs. First pitch, DeMello takes off, pitch is a ball to Kono, catcher loses the ball and DeMello is safe at second, no throw, with a stolen base. Kono gets an intentional walk. Ibara swings at an 0-1 pitch, fly out to center. Chun threw eight pitches in the inning and now has 75 for the game.
Prentice leads off in the top of the eighth. 2-2 pitch is a breaking ball that doesn’t break, hitting Prentice on the back. This is only the second time the Chargers have gotten a leadoff man on base against Eastlack. First time since the third inning. Kapuras’ sac bunt attempt goes right to Eastlack, who pivots and fires to second base for a forceout. One down. Chase Yoshida enters the game as a pinch runner for Kapuras at first base. He’s taking a sizable lead. Yokota swings and misses for strike three as Yoshida takes off to second base, and C Kirihara’s throw is in front of second. SS DeMello makes a quick adjustment and sticks his glove perfectly in front of Yoshida’s slide for the third out. Bang-bang play by the Trojans’ defense.
Eastlack threw 11 pitches in the eighth and has 89 for the game.
Souza-Paaluhi leads off for Mililani and walks on five pitches. Chun paints the outside corner with his first pitch to Nakagawa, but the next pitch is over the middle, no action, and Nakagawa grounds a single to left. Conference time at the mound for the Chargers.
Conference is over. Chun stays in. They try a pickoff play at second. Then Kirihara shows bunt, swings and lines a shot right at Chun, who catches it and throws to second to double off Souza-Paaluhi. Huge play by the Chargers. Preston Domogsac enters as a pinch runner for Nakagawa, and he steals second base with Ramos at the plate.
Ramos walks. Morales is up, first pitch, he flies out to second. Chun escapes. I really think he was running out of bullets there, but he got the Chargers to the ninth. Nice work. Chun threw 14 pitches and his total count is now 89.
Onomura leads off and takes a pitch on the back for a HBP. He was crowding the plate a bit, trying to get on base. Good move. Ernest Kam takes his place at first base as a pinch runner. 2-2 count on Nakamura, and he’s called out as a curveball bends into the strike zone. He was dipping his shoulder trying to get hit. Eastlack still has it. Nishijo flies out to the left-center gap, nice range by CF Souza-Paaluhi. Darley pinch hitting for Mostoles.
Runner takes off with Darley facing a 2-1 pitch. Ball is inside and Darley is called for interference as the catcher (Kirihara) tries to make the throw. Inning over. Fourteen pitches by Eastlack, 103 for the game.
Change on the mound for Pearl City. Dillin Hasegawa, a senior lefty, takes over for Chun. Lee grounds out to third. DeMello pops out to first. Hasegawa looks good, throwing strikes. Kono swings and misses on a change-up. Kono flies out to deep center. WOW.
Eastlack looks unbreakable. He retires Aribal on a grounder and strikes out Hirano after falling behind. He clips Prentice on the bill of his helmet, then gets Kapuras to ground out to third. That’s TEN innings pitched. Twelve pitches in the inning and 115 for the game. He looks strong and could go a lot more, but…
Bottom of the 10th: Hasegawa gets pinch hitter Korrey Siracusa to ground out to the mound and Souza-Paaluhi grounds to second. Nakagawa walks and Kirihara singles to left. Lucas Aribon enters as a courtesy runner at first base for Kirihara, Mililani’s catcher. Count is 2-0 to Ramos when Pearl City coach Gavin Concepcion steps out to talk with the home plate umpire.
Ramos takes a curveball inside for ball four. Bases are loaded for Morales. Lefty versus lefty. Curve low, ball one. Strike on the inside corner, 1-1. Curveball low, 2-1. Foul ball, 2-2. Foul ball. Ramos lifts a blooper near the left-field line and LF Nakamura nearly makes a great diving catch in foul territory. Next pitch is low in the dirt, count is 3-2.
Fastball on the outside corner, froze Ramos, strike three. WOW. That’s 25 pitches for Hasegawa in the inning. He came up clutch.
Eastlack’s amazing night is done. He went 10 innings, threw 115 pitches, allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out seven, walked none and hit three batters. Brennan Anzai, a lefty sidearmer, is in. He hits Yokota on a 2-2 pitch, then balks with Onomura at the plate. Onomura reaches on a bunt single and Anzai advances to third base. Nakamura goes opposite field, line drive to left for a single and Yokota scores from third. PC 3, MIL 2.
Onomura moves to second base on the play. Quick conference by Trojans coach Mark Hirayama. Anzai stays in the game. Nishijo’s bunt on the first pitch rolls and rolls and stays in fair territory, single and the bases are loaded, still no outs.
Darley hits a sharp grounder to short that bounces off SS DeMello. Ruled a base hit, Onomura scores from third base. PC 4, MIL 2.
That’s it for Anzai. Shane Griffin enters as Mililani’s third pitcher. First pitch to Aribal is a swing and miss, but the second pitch clips him and it’s an HBP. Nakamura is forced home from third. PC 5, MIL 2.
Still no outs. Hirano hits a chopper near home plate. 3B Ibara makes a quick throw home that is low, but dug out for a force out tag by C Kirihara for the first out.
Griffin clips Prentice, another hit batter, and Darley scores from third base. PC 6, MIL 2.
Griffin strikes out Kapuras, ball squirts away, but no advance by Pearl City. Yakota at the plate for the second time in this inning. He hits a single just inside the left-field line near third base and Aribal and Hirano score. PC 8, MIL 2.
Onomura grounds into a forceout to end the inning. Huge six-run inning for the Chargers.
Lee leads off for Mililani, flies out to right. DeMello flies out, Kono singles to left and Ibara pops out to end the game.