Hilo Survives Late Rally to Defeat Kealakehe
Hilo High School appeared to have a comfortable 8-1 lead after four innings of play, but had to survive a furious rally from Kealakehe High School to walk away with an 8-7 win at Wong Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
Hilo (5-4-1, 3-1 BIIF, 1-1 league seeding) opened the game strong at the plate against Kealakehe starter Zaynan Sanchez. The Vikings loaded the bases with no one out after a walk, hit batter, and a Sanchez error. Makana Josue-Ma`a followed by grounding to first baseman Bricen Ferreira, who threw home for the first out and received the throw back from KT Abraham to complete a double play. Eli Cruz struck out in the next at-bat, holding the Vikings scoreless in the first inning.
Kealakehe (0-0, 1-2 BIIF, 0-2 league seeding) came back in the second inning by loading the bases with no one out when Nic Fukunaga allowed three straight hits. Marcus Degrate grounded to third baseman Cruz, who threw to catcher Austin Menke to get the first out. Menke’s throwing error to record the out at first base allowed John Alokoa to score from second base, giving the Waveriders a 1-0 lead. Abraham flew out to center field for the second out, and Drew Kell’s throw gunned down Sage Valenzuela trying to tag home to end the inning.
Hilo’s offense would not let opportunities slip away in the second. Kian Kurokawa led off the ining by taking first after being hit by a Sanchez pitch. After stealing scond and third base, Jalen Cravalho screamed a triple down the right field line, scoring Kurokawa to tie the game. The next batter, Kell, scored Carvalho on a base knock to give Hilo the lead.
Hilo continued the attack with two outs when Chayce Kaaua singled home Kell to make the score 3-1. After stealing second base, Kaaua scored on a double to right-center field by Jodd Carter, capping the four run inning.
In the third, Hilo put the pressure back on with a leadoff single from Kurokawa. Sanchez’s throwing error to first base on a pickoff attempt allowed Kurokawa’s pinch runner, Isaiah Banasan, to head all the way to third base. He later scored on a wild pitch to make the score 5-1.
Marcus Degrate came in and immediately walked Jalen Carvalho after taking over the at-bat with a 1-0 count. Carvalho would also score on a wild pitch later in the inning. Carter later drove in Tyler Higa-Gonsalves to extend the lead to 7-1.
In the fourth inning, Sanchez’s error at shortstop allowed Banasan to score to make the score 8-1. Banasan reached base on a walk, stole second base, and reached third on a wild pitch before crossing the plate. The Vikings stole nine bases on Kealakehe during the game.
Kealakehe slowly got back into the game by scoring a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Valenzuela and Degrate each reached base to start the inning before Fukunaga was chased from the game. He was replaced by Carvalho on the mound, who watched both runners score on errors in the field. Valenzuela scored on a fielding error by Menke, who dropped the ball on a ground ball throw home. Kealakehe then tried a double steal with runners at the corners, which scored Degrate from third base when Cruz’s throw home hit the runner in his back, giving him enough time to recover and score.
In the sixth, Ferreira reached on a throwing error by shortstop Higa-Gonsalves, and two batters later, Alokoa singled him home on a knock into left field, cutting Hilo’s lead to 8-4.
Jordan Tagawa entered the game to pitch the seventh inning and immediately hit two batters in his first three pitches. After a fielder’s choice, Louie Garcia singled Shaedyn Levi home to cut Hilo’s advantage to three runs. Sanchez singled to load the bases, and two batters later, Teao Buehler singled two runs home to get the Waveriders within a run. Alokoa struckout to end the game, leaving the visitors a run shy of a monumental comeback.
Fukunaga took the win, allowing three unearned runs on five hits over four innings. Carvalho pitched two innings of relief, allowing another unearned run on a hit with one strikeout. Tagawa labored through the ninth, allowing three runs on three hits and two hit batters, but his two strikeouts helped him finish the game out.
Hilo stranded 10 runners on base, a lone negative to the baserunning and hitting display shown by the home team. Carter finished the day batting 2-for-3 with two runs batted in. Josue-Ma`a added a pair of singles, and Kaaua reached base all four times at the plate.
Kealakehe, under former UH Hilo assistant coach Josh Hansen, stranded only four runners. Sanchez, who took the loss after two innings, committed three errors in the field, but batted 2-for-4 at the plate. Buehler also went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in. Alokoa and Valenzuela each added two hits a piece and scored once.
On the mound, Sanchez threw 55 pitches and faced fifteen batters before getting the hook he allowed five runs on six hits and hit two batters. Degrate, who started the game in right field, pitched the last four innings, allowing three runs despite not allowing a hit. He threw a pair of wild pitches, hit two batters, and walked two hitters.
Kealakehe 010 021 3 – 7 9 3
Hilo 043 100 x – 8 8 4
BIIF baseball scoreboard
Waiakea 16, Honoka`a 3
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 10, Kohala 0
Hawai`i Prep 19, Pahoa 1