No. 2 Mid-Pacific waited nine long days to play a game like this one.
Jacob Yoshino singled home Wyatt Young, who tripled with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth inning, to give the second-ranked Owls a 5-4 win over No. 4 Punahou to cap a memorable ILH doubleheader on Thursday night at Les Murakami Stadium.
Earlier, Kamehameha’s Li’i Pontes tossed a complete game with nine strikeouts in a 4-3 win over Saint Louis.
Playing their first night game since a TV game last week was rained out at Hans L’Orange Park, the league-leading Owls (7-1) rallied with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning before winning it on Yoshino’s walk-off hit.
“I was looking to get a fastball,” said Yoshino, who had two hits and drew a walk. “Facing real pitchers, especially at night, seeing a fastball and trying to hit one was a little tough.”
Mid-Pacific hadn’t played since a 13-3 win over Damien nine days earlier due to two games postponed by weather.
Young, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, kept the bottom of the ninth alive with his triple after making a tough play in the hole at short in the top of the ninth to save a run.
“I really like the turf,” Young said. “We were really bummed out our last night game was canceled, but we came out prepared, came out to play, (I) got a fastball right down the middle and was just looking for it.”
Young, who signed to play at Pepperdine next year, was a defensive wizard at shortstop, gobbling up everything hit his way.
“He’s good. He’s the complete guy,” Mid-Pacific coach Dunn Muramaru said. “He showed what he’s like. Pepperdine is getting a pretty good player. I don’t give compliments too often but our shortstop was making some plays.”
The Owls led 3-0 after their first five batters stepped to the plate. Cameron Ching hit a two-run single and Micah Pi followed with an RBI double off Punahou starter Matt McConnell.
McConnell got out of the inning and kept the Buffanblu in the game putting up zero’s over the next three frames.
Punahou chipped away at the lead on Ola Aina’s RBI single in the second and Aaron Tom’s single in the third that drove in catcher Ryan Nishi, who smoked a one-out double to left-center.
Mid-Pacific reliever Shion Matsushita came in for starter Michael China with runners on the corners and one out in the fourth inning and promptly balked in the tying run.
Shortstop Kyson Donahue added a two-out single to drive in Cody Hirano to give Punahou a 4-3 lead.
The Owls tied the game in the sixth inning when Pi singled home Breyndon Nakamura, who ran for Ching, who singled to lead off.
MPI had runners on first and second with nobody out in a tie game and couldn’t score in the sixth, and then stranded a runner on second in the seventh after Kyle Layugan’s double to left-center.
Donahue, who singled to lead off the seventh, struck out the last batter in the sixth and seventh innings after taking the mound as a reliever with two outs and nobody on in the sixth.
He had given up only two hits and struck out three in 3 2/3 innings before allowing the final two hits in three pitches.
Matsushita scattered five hits over the final 5 2/3 innings with three strikeouts to earn the win.
“Punahou hit him pretty good last year so I kind of was a little bit worried about him,” Muramaru said. “They had a good approach with what they were trying to do and (Matsushita) got just enough outs.”
at Les Murakami Stadium
Punahou (6-3) 011 200 000 — 4 12 1
Mid-Pacific (7-1) 300 001 001 — 5 14 1
Matt McConnell, Kyle Uemura (5), Kyson Donahue (6) and Ryan Nishi. Michael China, Shion Matsushita (4) and MacKenzee Higuchi. W—Matsushita. L—Donahue.
Leading hitters—Pun: Donahue 2-5, RBI; Nishi 2-5, 2b; Asa Kurasaki 2-4, run; Kai Terada-Herzer 2-3, run, sb; Ola Aina 2-4. MPI: Wyatt Young 3-4, 3b, 2 runs; Cameron Ching 2-4, run, 2 RBIs; Micah Pi 2-4, 2b, 2 RBIs; Higuchi 2-4; Kyle Layugan 2b; Jacob Yoshino 2-3, bb, run, RBI.