Four Division I teams are within a game of first place in the ILH. Including Division II St. Francis, exactly half of the teams in the league have either two or three losses.
The league is shaping up for a wild April and Les Murakami Stadium has been the perfect place to showcase the madness.
Tuesday night’s 5-3 victory by ‘Iolani over Kamehameha in the second game of a doubleheader was the first time in five games played at the Les that an ILH game was decided by more than one run.
In the six games total, there have been three walk-off wins. Only one game has been decided by more than two runs.
The Raiders (6-2-1) are within a half game of league-leading Mid-Pacific after getting six strong innings from starter Trevor Ichimura to beat the Warriors, who dropped to 7-3-1.
It was a win to build of off, but not one to celebrate for long. The Raiders play the Owls on Thursday for the outright lead in the league before returning to the Les on Saturday for the middle game of a tripleheader.
“It’s a tough league. We can’t enjoy the win. We’ve got Mid-Pacific on Thursday,” ‘Iolani coach Kurt Miyahira said. “We’re getting better. Trying to build off each win. That’s all we can do.”
The game was just the third in 16 days for ‘Iolani due to the weather. Matching the wild games on the field is a scheduling mess off of it that will make April an incredibly busy month.
Tuesday started a stretch of seven games in 11 days ‘Iolani will try to get done before the playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 19. Twelve games in a little over three weeks is not out of the realm of possibility.
Three teams will make the state tournament in Division I from the ILH for the first time since 2012.
“That helps us out a lot,” Miyahira said.
Saturday’s tripleheader will begin with Punahou play St. Francis at 9 a.m., followed by ‘Iolani against Pac-Five at noon and Maryknoll against Mid-Pacific at 3 p.m.
St. Francis shut out No. 1 Mid-Pacific 5-0 on Tuesday, making Division II teams 4-8 against Division I opponents.
‘Iolani played the first of nine ILH games the league moved to Les Murakami Stadium and beat Hanalani 11-0 in five innings.
Every game after that has been full of drama. Punahou defeated Kamehameha 4-3 on a walk-off passed ball in the bottom of the seventh inning only to lose 5-4 to Mid-Pacific on Jacob Yoshino‘s walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning two days later.
That came after Kamehameha held on to beat Saint Louis 4-3 behind a strong performance from starter Li’i Pontes.
Prior to ‘Iolani’s win over Kamehameha on Tuesday, Damien scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning with Pomai Kim delivering the walk-off RBI single with two outs to beat Maryknoll 8-7.
Saturday’s tripleheader will be the final three ILH games at the stadium.
“Every game is a lot of fun (in this league) because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Ichimura, who allowed four hits in six innings with five strikeouts to earn the win over the Warriors. “It’s crazy. We’ve got to take each game one at a time because you just never know.”