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Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Brandon Ching | ScoringLiveApril 9, 2018, 9:31pm
Mon, Apr 9, 2018 @ [ 3:30 pm ]
W: Shion Matsushita L: Lii Pontes SV: Matthew Valencia
MPI: Wyatt Young 1-2 run rbi dbl; Shion Matsushita 6.0 IP 1 ER 3 KKSK: Lii Pontes 1-4 dbl / 6.0 ER 2 ER 2 K
MANOA — Second-ranked Mid-Pacific broke a 2-all tie in the fifth inning to pull away from sixth-ranked Kamehameha, 5-2 in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I matchup at Mid-Pacific's Damon Field on a sunny Monday afternoon.
Since falling to ILH Division II rival Saint Francis (7-3), 5-0 on Apr. 3, the Owls rallied to win three-straight to improve to 10-2 in the ILH standings.
The Warriors dropped their second-consecutive game to fall to 7-4-1.
Shion Matsushita struggled early on, but stayed the course to strike out and walked three in six complete innings to pick up his sixth win of the season. Matt Valencia closed out the seventh to force two ground outs to short and struck out one to pick up the save.
"When you don't have your best stuff, but he still pitched well. He walked guys, hit guys, fell behind, but when he needed the pitch, he came up with the pitch," Mid-Pacific coach Dunn Muramaru said of Matsushita.
Wyatt Young finished 1 for 2, scored and drove in a run to help lead the Owls at the plate. Jacob Yoshino and Micah Pi were each 1 for 3 and Cale Yoshino was 1 for 2 and added a run and RBI.
Chaeston Chon led off the game with a single and moved over to third on Matsushita's throwing error to first. Chon would score on Kalamaku Keuwa's fielder's choice for a 1-0 lead. Matsushita hit two batters and a balk moved Borja and Kuewa in scoring position, but Matsushita struck out Hanu Racoma to end the threat.
The Owls responded as Mackenzee Higuchi drew a walk to lead off the second inning, Micah Pi singled and each moved a base on a Warrior fielding error. Cameron Ching and Jet Uechi each grounded out, but in the process drove in two runs for a 2-1 lead.
Racoma reached on an error to start the fourth inning that led to a score off of Kala Burnett's sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game at 2. The Owls committed two of their four fielding errors in the inning.
"I kept throwing strikes and trusted my defense even though they made errors, but they backed me up. I tried to put my team in the best position to win," said Matsushita.
"We struggled the whole game," said Muramaru. "We walked guys, hit guys, fundamental mistakes, not calling out."
Kamehameha had two runners in scoring position after Jonny Shimabukuro reached on an error and Kuewa chopped a singled into shallow left field, but came away empty-handed after Jace Borja grounded to short and Racoma grounded out to third.
Cale Yoshino drew another lead-off walk for the team the bottom of the sixth and he moved over to second on Hunter Hirayama's sacrifice bunt. Young came in to belt a double deep to right field and moved to third on a passed ball then scored on Jacob Yoshino's grounder to short to give the Owls a two-run cushion, 4-2.
"I was looking fast ball on that pitch, but he threw me a slider I think and I kept my hands back and was able to hit it over there," Young said of the 2-2 offering.
"Wyatt's like that, he's a clutch guy," Matsushita added.
Higuchi and Pi consecutively grounded out to third, but Gabby Galamgam was hit by a Pontes pitch and Breyndon Nakamura, who came in for Galamgam, scored on Cale Yoshino's deep single to left field to pad the lead.
"We had to win each inning," said Young.
"(Jacob) Yoshino, who was 0-2 and gets the ball on the ground and we score a run. That was bigger. Cale gets the single to left. Those add on runs are so big," Muramaru said of the late runs to put away the Warriors.
Pontes (1-2) threw 78 pitches to scatter four hits, struck out three and walked three in the loss. Chon and Kuewa each went 1 for 4 at the plate.
This was a make up game that was originally scheduled for Mar. 22 but was rained out.
The Warriors face Damien on Apr. 13 at Ala Wai Field, while the Owls take on Hanalani at Central Oahu Regional Park on Apr. 11.
Kamehameha picked up a key ILH D1 win while handing Iolani its third straight loss.
Saint Francis is at No. 6, while Mid-Pacific and Maui rounds out the rankings.
Buffanblu have won six straight after starting season 0-2.
Warriors are currently undefeated in BIIF regular season play.
Ayzek Silva threw 5 2/3 strong innings while striking out a season-high 10 batters.
Liliana Thomas’ walk off single helped the Spartans create a four-way tie for first.