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Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveMarch 9, 2018, 9:51pm
Fri, Mar 9, 2018 @ [ 3:30 pm ]
W: Milton Gainey III L: Zach Alcos
SFS: Zach Alcos 1-3 run 3 rbi; Kiyo Perry 3.0 IP 5 ER 3 KDMS: Kaimana Cameron 3-4 2 runs 4 rbi trp; Milton Gainey III 3.0 ER 1 ER 3 K
WAIPIO — Offense was in abundance for the Damien baseball team Friday.
All nine players in the batting order had at least one hit and Milton Gainey III tossed three innings of relief to lift the Monarchs to a 15-8 win over Saint Francis on a chilly late afternoon at Patsy T. Mink/Central Oahu Regional Park.
Damien, the defending Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II champion, took an early five-run lead, but faced a two-run deficit in the middle innings before storming back with nine unanswered runs before the game was called after six innings due to darkness.
"I think that shows us how good they can be if they were to get rid of the mental lapses in between and just be able to play a complete game without having those lapses in between," said Damien coach Timo Donahue, whose team has won its last two by a combined margin of 29-9 since an 8-5 loss to Saint Francis to open the season on Feb. 28.
"I just think the first time around we had first-game jitters. I think guys were trying to do too much. This past week we worked on what what we did last year as far as staying within ourselves and getting good pitches to hit," Donahue said.
The Monarchs, who improved to 2-1 in league play, piled up 18 hits, led by Akila Arecchi's 4-for-4 day. Arecchi, a senior left fielder, reached base in all five of his plate appearances. He drew a walk, stole a pair of bases and scored three times.
Kaimana Cameron batted 3 for 4 with a triple, four RBI and two runs scored, Jordan Donahue drove in two runs, walked twice, stole a base and scored twice. Kayson Kajiwara, Shiloh Kaeo, Mason Kim and Paul Mezurashi also paired hits in the win.
Damien sent nine batters to the plate in a five-run first inning and 10 in a six-run fifth.
Arecchi's bases-loaded RBI single in the fifth inning to score Kajiwara tied it at 8 before Kim hit a two-out triple to the gap in right center, which allowed Donahue to score the go-ahead run.
"That was very, very nice," Gainey said of the run support. "I was thankful for my teammates to get a lot of hits and bring in those runs. That was a good cushion for me."
Gainey allowed one run on one hit in 59 pitches to pick up the win.
"That was good to see. He's our senior returner and a four-year guy. He's finally understanding to believe in what he has as far as his repertoire of pitches and his command," Donahue said of Gainey. "Once he gets his command, he should be able to compete for us. That's all we're asking, is for these guys to put the ball over the plate and let us play defensively and our bats — I mean, it's pretty much the same group of guys from last year and I have total confidence in these guys."
Gainey struck out three and walked three after relieving starting pitcher Kaycee Natividad, who was charged with seven runs on four hits with four walks and one strikeout in three innings of work.
"I just had the mentality of a bulldog," said Gainey, who entered after a five-run Saint Francis third and his team facing a 7-6 deficit.
"I just wanted to slow down the game and get everybody back. Their minds were offset because of what happened in the earlier innings and just going down, so I just wanted to pound the zone, help my team out get the win."
Zach Alcos took the loss for Saint Francis. He took over for starter Kiyo Perry to start the fourth inning and allowed nine runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Perry surrendered six runs on seven hits in 64 pitches. He walked three and struck out three and did not factor into the final decision.
Alcos, who started the game at first base, drove in three runs in the loss. Bubba Akana and Makana Poole each scored twice for the Saints, who fell to 2-1.
Saint Francis took the lead in the bottom of the third inning, when they sent nine batters to the plate and scored five runs on three hits, two walks and a Monarch error.
"This puts us in a good position," Gainey said. "All we've got to do now is just play as a team as always and just get more wins we need."
The teams combined for eight errors, five of them by Damien.
They will play again on March 29 at Ala Wai Field.
Both teams play Hanalani next. The Royals will play the Monarchs Tuesday and the Saints Thursday. Both games are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. starts at CORP.
Semifinals feature Saint Francis vs. Damien and Lahainaluna vs. Punahou.
The Warriors edged defending champ Iolani to begin regular season play.
The Falcons have not dropped a contest in four weeks.
The Raiders banged 11 triples and outscored host Na Menehune by 13 after halftime.
Kapolei jumped out to a 21-4 first quarter lead and never looked back.
Warriors hit eight treys, never trailed the Hurricanes and led by as many as 36 points.