Hilo Opens Championship Series With Extra Innings Win
Waiakea’s Makoa Andres and Hilo’s Joey Jarneski put together a pitcher’s duel that thrilled a packed house at Wong Stadium Friday night in Game 1 of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation’s Division I Best-of-Three Championship Series.
At the end of a long night, however, Hilo got just enough offense to pull out a 4-2 win in eight innings, taking a 1-0 series lead.
Waiakea (13-2) won both regular season meetings against Hilo, both with Andres on the mound. He picked up wins in both meetings, including a no-hitter in the first matchup back in early March. Andres (4-1) put together a performance worthy of earning a victory on Friday, striking out 12 in a complete game loss.
A 46-minute rain delay cooled Andres, who struck out the side in the first inning. After walking Ryan Ragual to open the second inning, Micah Bello reached base on an error by Waiakea third baseman Jaron Kawaguchi. Two batters later, Nick Antony drove Ragual in on a ground ball out to shortstop, putting Hilo on top 1-0.
On the other side, Jarneski (2-0) tried to match Andres stride-for-stride. He struck out nine in seven innings of work and worked out of occasional trouble, including a fielding error by Josiah Factora at shortstop in the fourth inning. Taylor Mondina attempted to score on the play, but was gunned down at the plate on a strong throw by Bello in center field. Gehrig Octavio was then thrown out at second trying to extend the play to second base, ending the threat.
In the fifth inning, though, Waiakea’s offense showed signs of life against Jarneski, who threw 119 pitches in the game. Shaun Kurosawa doubled to left field to open the inning, but Jarneski struck out the next two batters in an effort to silence the Warriors’ bats. He hit Mackanzy Maesaka with a pitch to keep the inning alive, and Nathan Minami capitalized on the extra opportunity with an infield single. Pinch runner Devin Midel scored from second base on the play to tie the game at 1-1.
Jarneski appeared to cruise through the seventh inning by getting the first two outs, but allowed a hit to Maesaka and a walk to Minami to keep the inning going. A strikeout of Tamiya ended Jarneksi’s outing and forced extra innings.
Andres returned to the mound in the eighth inning with a pitch count at 96 and ran into trouble, hitting Factora with a pitch and following it up with a single by Ragual. Next up was Bello, who drilled a triple into the right-center field gap to push Hilo’s lead to 3-1. Bello scored moments later on a steal of home when Maesaka dropped the pitch in the dirt, giving Hilo reliever Brett Komatsu a three-run cushion for a save opportunity.
Komatsu (1) allowed a run to score on Factora’s error at third base, but induced a ground out from Jacob Igawa to end the game.
Hilo (12-3) didn’t earn a hit until the fifth inning when Noah Higa-Gonsalves reached on an infield bunt single. Josh Breitbarth also recorded a hit for Hilo.
Minami batted 2-for-3 with an RBI, walk, and a stolen base for Waiakea. Mondina was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.
Game two of the best-of-three will get underway on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. If a third game is necessary, it will be played on Monday.
Hilo 010 000 03 – 4 4 3
Waiakea 000 010 01 – 2 6 3