It’s going to take a miracle, maybe, for anyone to catch the high-flying Mid-Pacific Owls.
MPI leads the ILH baseball race with an 11-2 mark as of Wednesday night. ‘Iolani and Punahou are doing what they can to keep hope alive. The Raiders dominated St. Francis 12-2 in six innings on Wednesday and is still mathematically in the running with a 9-3-1 record. ‘Iolani needs MPI to lose its last two regular-season games to have a shot at the top.
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MPI can eliminate ‘Iolani from regular-season title contention with a win over Maryknoll (Thursday) or Saint Louis (Monday). A loss to either foe would breathe life into Punahou, which is 9-3 and has a little more leeway. The Buffanblu could catch Mid-Pacific if the Owls lose one game, but Punahou would need to sweep ‘Iolani (Friday), Pac-Five (Tuesday) and Saint Louis (Wednesday).
St. Francis, which shocked MPI at Damon Field last week, had no answer for the hot-hitting Raiders. ‘Iolani was ready at the plate from the top of the lineup to the bottom, slapping 17 hits against St. Francis pitchers Kiyo Perry, Bubba Akana and Kainoa Holt. Cade Yonamine was 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and three runs scored. Zack Kon also went 3-for-4, driving in two runs and scoring once.
It was quite a day for fans, as well. They celebrated ‘Iolani’s senior class — a dozen in all — despite a persistent drizzle that required an umbrella show in the bleachers.
Coach Kurt Miyahira has seen his hitters step up in the stretch run.
“They’ve been swinging better lately. They don’t let one at-bat affect them. Just flush it and go to battle again,” Miyahira said.
Logan Yee mixed a fastball and curve effectively. He scattered seven hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two.
“My change-up was a little off, but after the second inning, I felt good,” the 6-foot-2 senior said.
If MPI closes the regular season with a state berth, the rest of the league will still have a golden opportunity in the playoffs. The ILH has three state berths this season. It will be a new opportunity for teams that have already been eliminated from regular-season title contention.