‘Iolani and Kamehameha battle to 10-10 tie

'Iolani leadoff hitter Shaydon Kubo took a swing during Tuesday's 10-10 tie with Kamehameha. Photo by Jerry Campany/Star-Advertiser.

A wild afternoon of ILH baseball at Ala Wai Field provided a high-scoring start and late-innning drama — but no winner.

No. 2 ‘Iolani and No. 10 Kamehameha traded rallies throughout Tuesday’s matchup before shaking hands under the lights tied at 10-10.

‘Iolani trailed 7-5 after two innings and took a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth only to see the Warriors answer with three in the bottom of the inning to reclaim the lead going into the seventh. ‘Iolani’s Micah Miyahira’s pinch-hit single scored Zack Kon with the tying run and the game went into extra innings.

Kamehameha reliever Christian DeJesus stranded two ‘Iolani runners on base in the top of the eighth. ‘Iolani’s Trevor Ichimura retired the Warriors in order in the bottom of the inning and the game was called at 10-10.

A soccer league had a permit for the field and under the field rules no new inning could start once the lights came on.

Although neither team came out of the game completely satisfied, both found bright spots in their respective rallies.

Kamehameha opened the ILH season with a 14-5 loss to Mid-Pacific then pulled out one-run wins over Maryknoll and Pac-Five and routed the Wolfpack on Saturday. The Warriors trailed 3-0 in the top of the first on Tuesday but answered with four in the bottom of the inning to set the tone for the back-and-forth shootout.

Leadoff hitter Chaeston Chon went 3-for-4 and scored three runs, Hanu Racoma delivered a three-run double in the first inning and Kalamaku Kuewa drilled a two-run triple in the second.

“Huge step,” Kamehameha coach Kahi Kaanoi said of the Warriors’ progress. “We know it’s going to be a battle all year long. … We’re getting better each time out, I feel, offensively especially. The bats are way better than they were earlier. I think it’s mostly due to the approach they’re taking. We still got a lot of work to do, pitching wise, fielding wise, but every day these guys are getting better.”

‘Iolani (2-1-1) bounced back from last week’s 1-0 loss to MPI with a 14-4 win over Pac-Five and slipped out of the top spot in this week’s Star-Advertiser poll.

“A lot of ups and downs the first two inning. Both teams were kind of sloppy from the pitching standpoint, a lot of free passes,” said ‘Iolani assistant coach Corey Yamamoto, who ran the team with head coach Kurt Miyahira away on a trip.

“It was really good to see them battle back being down two the whole way.”

After the teams combined for 12 runs in the first two innings, Kamehameha starter Li’i Pontes and ‘Iolani reliever Jonah Miyazawa matched zeroes from the third through fifth innings.

Miyazawa escaped the fifth despite Kuewa reaching on an infield single, advancing on an error then taking third when no one was covering the bag. Miyazawa fielded a one-hopper back to the mound for the first out and third baseman Jacob Hinderleider threw Kuewa out at the plate trying to score on a chopper.

“The fact that we held them there was huge,” Yamamoto said. “If we don’t make that play and get the guy at the plate, we lose the game.”

Raiders catcher Micah Yonamine went 3-for-5 including a two-run double in the sixth that gave ‘Iolani the lead, and Shane Sasaki followed with an RBI single.

But Kamehameha rallied again in the bottom of the sixth with Jace Borja, who led off with a single, scoring on a wild pitch and Jonny Shimabukuro driving in Chon with the tying run with a single to right. The Warriors loaded the bases and Vicente Venenciano’s confusing fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop scored Shimubukuro with the go-ahead run.

Kon walked to lead off the top of the seventh, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on a passed ball. Miyahira worked the count full, fouled off two two-strike pitches, then drilled a grounder through the middle to tie the game again.

“He’s been swinging it well, fastball guy and (DeJesus) was throwing a lot of fastballs,” Yamamoto said. “He battled up there. … It was good to see him come off the bench and clutch up like that.”

The game would end with a scoreless eighth, leaving the teams to regroup for another test on Thursday with ‘Iolani taking on No. 6 Punahou and Kamehameha facing No. 7 Saint Louis.

“Every out is tough but overall I think we did a pretty good job,” said Pontes, who settled in after a rough start to throw 4 1/3 innings and delivered an RBI single in the second. “It sucks that we couldn’t take the win but a tie is better than a loss.”


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