Konawaena Runs Past HPA to Advance to DII Championship Game
The Konawaena Wildcats scored seven runs in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and put the game away in the fifth inning to defeat Hawai`i Preparatory Academy 11-1. The game ended after five innings because of the league’s 10 run mercy rule.
With the win, Konawaena has clinched a spot in the eight-team Wally Yonamine Foundation / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division II Baseball Tournament next week at Hans L`Orange Park in Waipahu.
Konawaena (17-4 overall, 11-2 BIIF overall, 8-2 BIIF seeding/tournament) got the lead off man on base in every inning. It didn’t always lead to results, however. In the first, Domonic Morris drew a walk from HPA’s D.J. Sekiya and promptly stole second base. When Ryan Torres-Torioka flew out to center field in the next at-bat, though, Morris was caught way off of second base, which got him doubled up for the second out. The Wildcats failed to score in the inning.
Konawaena wouldn’t let that opportunity get away in the next frame. Second baseman J.J. Kitaoka led off with a walk. After stealing second and taking third base on a sacrifice bunt, Kitaoka raced home on a wild pitch to score the game’s first run. The Wildcats had a chance for more, but Dylan Raiano, who was courtesy running for Evyn Yamaguchi, got picked off of first base, ending the threat.
Meanwhile, junior Jordan Miyahira-Young was both effective and efficient on the mound for Konawaena, allowing only a hit on 23 pitches in the first three innings. He didn’t record a strikeout but induced five ground ball outs. Three other outs in the air didn’t leave the infield.
A patient Hawai`i Prep team took the plate in the fourth inning and, for the first time, put pressure on Miyahira-Young. Cyrus Inglis led the frame off with a single to shallow center field and advanced to second base on Ian Rice’s sacrifice bunt. Left-handed hitting Michael Nakahara took the next pitch and drove it down the left field line for a double, scoring Inglis to tie the game at one a piece.
The fourth inning was what broke the game wide open. Torres-Torioka was hit in the foot with a pitch to lead off the inning and Sekiya followed that with a four-pitch walk to Kileona Manzano. Both men were able to advance to scoring position on stolen bases to set up Zane Gray’s RBI base knock to drive home Torres-Torioka. The hit knocked Sekiya out of the game and started a string of five consecutive hits. Yamaguchi’s single against reliever Koa Ellis drove Manzano home to extend the lead to 3-1, and two batters later, Miyahira-Young helped his own cause with an infield single to score Gray, giving the Wildcats a 4-1 lead.
Designated Hitter Skye Suzuki followed with a two-run single to push the lead to five runs, followed by Morris’ sacrifice fly RBI to deep right field, scoring Miyahira-Young yo give Konawaena a 7-0 lead. Suzuki scored on a wild pitch to end the seven-run inning for Konawaena.
Ellis failed to get anyone out in the fifth inning, allowing four consecutive hits to push the game to the mercy rule. After singles by Manzano and Kitaoka, Gray’s two-run triple brought them home to extend the lead to 10-1. Yamaguchi followed with a shallow single to center field to bring home Gray and send the Wildcats to the league title game.
Miyahira-Young took the win to improve to 5-1 on the season. He allowed a run on four hits while walking a batter, hitting another one, and picking up a strikeout. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a run scored.
Yamaguchi led Konawaena by hitting 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI. He also scored a run. Gray followed with a 2-for-2 performance with a triple and three runs batted in.
Hawai`i Preparatory Academy finished their season with a 13-7-1 record overall. Ka Makani went 8-4 in BIIF overall play and 6-4 in league games that counted toward the standings.
Sekiya took the loss, falling to 4-3 on the year. In three and two-thirds innings pitched, he allowed four earned runs on two hits with a pair of walks, a hit batter, and a wild pitch. In relief, Ellis allowed the next seven runs on eight hits.
Hawai`i Prep 000 10 – 1 4 2
Konawaena 010 74 – 11 10 0