Waiakea’s Offense Strikes Big to Win Costales Tourney
Offense hasn’t proved to be a problem for Waiakea early in the varsity baseball season.
A seven-run sixth inning helped Waiakea put up 14 runs on Saturday night, its largest total of the season, to defeat Pac-Five 14-4 in the championship game of the 23rd annual Stanley Costales Senior Invitational Baseball Tournament, hosted by Hilo High School at Wong Stadium.
Waiakea (4-2) seemed to click at the plate early and often, claiming at least one hit in each inning. But early in the game, the Warriors struggled to take advantage of its opportunities.
In the first inning, Pac-Five pitcher Brett Watanabe allowed a single to Nathan Minami, hit Anthony Benevides with a pitch, and walked Makoa Andrews. But he battled back, striking out Gehrig Octavio and drawing Mackenzy Maesaka into a line drive out to keep the frame scoreless.
The bases were loaded again in the second inning with one out, but Trayden Tamiya grounded into the inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to keep the game tied at 0-0.
Waiakea plated three in the fourth inning to take control of the game. Nathan Minami reached base with another single, his third of the day, part of a 4-for-4 day at the plate with three runs batted in. This base knock through the middle of the diamond scored Jared Kawaguchi. Two batters later, Benevides drove in Minami with a single into center field, and Andres brought in Tamiya on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Pac-Five (5-3) unraveled on the mound in the sixth inning. The first eight hitters reached base safely in the inning, led by Minami’s triple to deep right-center field. Tamiya brought him home on squeeze bunt. Andres drove two runs home with a double to left-center field, and later scored on Maesaka’s single. Kawaguchi walked in a run with the bases loaded. Maesaka scored on a wild pitch, and Shaun Kurosawa, who was walked, scored when Minami was hit by a pitch, making the score 10-1 after six innings.
Nine more hitters came to the plate for Waiakea in the seventh, bringing home four more runs. Jamison Hirayama walked in a run with the bases loaded, and Guy Yokoe singled in another run. Minami walked with the bases loaded, and Tamiya tallied his only hit, a single to right that scored a run to make the score 14-1.
Once Waiakea plated its twelfth run, the scoreboard operators basically stopped counting runs. They were forced to put runs back on the board when Pac-Five kept battling in the seventh inning, putting up three runs. Shandon Lagua singled in a run, and pinch-hitter Ryan Moritsugu drove in two more with a single.
Lost in the offensive outburst was a solid pitching effort from Waiakea junior Aaron Kimura (1-0), who coach Rory Inouye says is battling for the third spot in the Warriors’ pitching rotation. Kimura threw 52 pitches in four innings, allowing one run on four hits with a strikeout and a walk. Two other pitchers combined to allow the other three runs on seven hits. Right-hander Dillon John Gabriel stood out among the game’s many relievers, allowing three hits and striking out two in two innings.
Brett Watanabe (0-1) took the loss in his third appearance of the season, allowing three runs on seven hits with a strikeout and two walks. Four other relievers were needed to finish the game.
Benevides batted 2-for-3 with an RBI, Maesaka hit 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Kawaguchi hit 2-for-3 with an RBI for Waiakea, who tallied 15 hits in the game. Every starter, minus Gehrig Octavio, was able to get a hit, but Octavio got on base three times via walks and scored twice.
Zane Oshiro picked up two hits for Pac-Five and reached base three times.
Waiakea opens up Big Island Interscholastic Federation play on Feb. 27 at Honoka’a, while Pac-Five kicks off Interscholastic League of Honolulu competition on Mar. 4 against Hanalani.
Waiakea 000 307 4 – 4 15 1
Pac-Five 000 010 3 – 4 10 3
23rd Annual Stanley Costales Sr. Invitational Baseball Tournament results
Kamehameha-Maui 10, Konawaena 1
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 12, Kealakehe 2
Waiakea 8, Leilehua 0
Pac-Five 3, Hilo 2
Waiakea 6, Kamehameha-Maui 5
Hilo 6, Leilehua 2
Kealakehe 7, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy 5
Waiakea 4, Konawaena 2
Pac-Five 5, Kamehameha-Hawai’i 1
Hilo 8, Konawaena 1
Leilehua 6, Kealakehe 4
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 14, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy 7
Hilo 3, Kamehameha-Maui 2
Waiakea 14, Pac-Five 4