WAILUKU, Maui – Sophomore southpaw Ryan Ancheta and Koa Eastlack combined on a one-hitter and Mililani stunned No. 1 and top-seeded Mid-Pacific Institute, 4-0, Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I state baseball tournament.
Ancheta, who stands at 5 feet and 3 ½ inches, gave up a second-inning infield single to Cameron Wong and walked four in six innings for the Trojans (12-5). Eastlack pitched a scoreless seventh, though Kyle Layugan reached on an error.
The Trojans did all their damage in a four-run fourth against MPI starter Alex Oley, who lasted 4 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits and two walks while striking out five. Chase Wago pitched the final 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
"Knowing that I'm a sophomore and kind of helped pull by team closer to this and beating the ILH champion feels really good," Ancheta said. "I feel very honored to play for this team and have the opportunity to pitch this game."
This was Ancheta's third start of the season. He also beat Kaiser in the fifth-place semifinals to earn his team the state berth.
"He's huge," Mililani coach Mark Hirayama said. "He did that to get us into the states, beating Kaiser. He's a gritty little guy that goes after things. That's the kind of guy we needed for team like Mid-Pac. Whatever happens, happens. Here it is. Let's go."
Ancheta mixed his pitches well and his defense made plays behind him.
"I have a fastball and a curveball and those two were big for me today," Ancheta said. "Coach Gainor (Nitta) told me to help mix my speeds, so I slowed down my fastball by like about 10 miles per hour to throw them off balanced. My curveball was breaking well today so I was happy with that."
Meanwhile, the Owls (16-5) made uncharacteristic moves on the base paths with the few runners they had. They had a runner doubled off first on a popped up bunt and had another runner nearly picked off base. A missed tag and no one covering first base allowed the runner to return to first safely.
"They just outplayed us today," MPI coach Dunn Muramaru said. "That's the first time we've ever had two guys picked off all year."
The Trojans did all their damage in a four-run fifth inning.
With one out, Sheldon Lee, Blaine DeMello and Ryan Kono singled in a row to load the bases. After a wild pitch scored Lee, CJ Ibara walked to reload the bases. Kaimana Souza- Paaluhi then grounded out to first to move the runners to make it 2-0. Aris Nakagawa delivered the big blow with a two-run double to left. After Hunter Kurihara walked, Oley was pulled for Wago, who struck out pinch hitter Korrey Siracusa to end the inning.
The Owls never got a runner passed second after the first inning. In the first, Jacob Maekawa walked, took second on a sacrifice, went to third on a ground out to second, but was stranded there when shortstop DeMello robbed Ryne Yamashiro with a diving stab of a line drive.
Both teams will play at Mililani on Tuesday night.
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