ILH Baseball
Relief helps Crusaders rally by Spartans, 7-5


Tue, Mar 5, 2019 @ [ 3:30 pm ]

F/8TH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Saint Louis 0 20000327111
Maryknoll 1 3 000100560

W: Jacob Thomas Navyac    L: Reggie Eiland

MS: Devin Shimabukuro 1-3 2 runs; Justice Yamashita 6.7 IP 4 ER 3 K
STL: Caleb Lomavita 4-5 run 2 rbi dbl; Jacob Thomas Navyac 2.6 ER 0 ER 5 K

WAIPIO — It was all about relief pitching when Saint Louis scored five runs in the final two innings to beat Maryknoll, 7-5, in eight innings Tuesday in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu baseball season opener.

Down 5-2 in the top of the seventh, the Crusaders (1-0) scored three to tie and followed with two in the eighth to cap their comeback against the Spartans (0-1), who took a 5-2 lead into the seventh at Central Oahu Regional Park.

Noah Tory knocked in the go-ahead run in the eighth with a single and Caleb Lomavita followed with an insurance RBI single off Reggie Eiland (0-1), Maryknoll's third pitcher of the game.

But the story was relief pitching. JT Navyac (1-0) pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in getting credit for the win. But it was the strong middle relief of left-hander Makaio Bruchal that settled the game to keep the Crusaders in striking range. He tossed 3 1/3 innings, allowing an unearned run, three hits and a walk with three strikeouts. It came after starter Richie Vidal III managed only two-plus innings after allowing four runs, two hits and four walks.

"Makaio was the key," Saint Louis coach George Gusman said. "He did a nice job by settling everything down. He threw strikes."

The Spartans' counterparts, though, could not close the door on the Crusaders. Starting pitcher Justice Yamashita took a 5-2 lead into the seventh but walked lead-off hitter Jonah Zembik, who moved to second and third on consecutive ground outs to the right side. Yamachika, who was approaching the 110-pitch limit, allowed an 0-2 pitch single to Caleb Lomavita to pull the Crusaders to 5-3. Yamashita was pulled after 107 pitches for Hailama Swartman, who started the game at first base. But Swartman walked Makana Ontai on five pitches to put the tying runner aboard. Swartman was pulled for Eiland, who started at shortstop. Austin Teixeira greeted Eiland with an RBI single to left that moved Ontai to second. Eiland then walked Navyac and Hunter Peneueta to force home the tying run. Eiland struck out Matthew Saelua to end the inning.

Maryknoll got a runner on in the bottom of the seventh, but Navyac stranded him there to send the game into extra innings.

Eiland continued to struggle with control when he walked Zembik to start the eighth. Zembik took second on Cole Kashimoto's single (3 for 5, two doubles). After the runners advanced on a wild pitch, Tory singled home courtesy runner Doug Cabinatan III to break the deadlock with Kashimoto taking third. After Tory was caught stealing second, Lomavita singled home Kashimoto to make it 7-5 with one out.

With darkness setting quickly — had Maryknoll not been able to bat because of darkness, the game would have reverted back to the previous inning — Lomavita was caught stealing and Ontai grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.

Navyac retired the Spartans in order, including two strikeouts, in the bottom of the eighth to end the game.

Makaio Bruchal came in for relief of starter Richie Vidal III, and despite allowing a run, Bruchal tossed 3 1/3 innings to keep the Crusaders within striking distance. Spencer Honda | SL

After Vidal walked Tyler Quinn to start the third, he was lifted for Bruchal, who got out of the inning with the help of a double play. Bruchal ran into trouble in the sixth when he loaded the bases with one out. Navyac's errant pick-off throw to second allowed a run to score to increase Maryknoll's lead to 5-2. But Navyac struck out the next two batters and followed with two scoreless innings to put the game away.

"It was just my defense," Bruchal said of his effectiveness. "My defense helped me and I just got into a zone."

The Spartans took a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by Nunu Hata, but it was short-lived as the Crusaders took the lead in the top of the second on Kashimoto's two-run double.

Maryknoll regained the lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI fielder's choice grounder, a wild pitch and sacrifice fly by Lucas Stumbaugh.

"This is persevering," Bruchal said of his team's rally. "I like to see our team come back and I know that if we're ever down, we're strong enough to always come back."

It was just the start of what figures to be an arduous journey for all ILH teams, who play three times per week.

"We hit some balls hard, right at people throughout the entire game," Gusman said. "It was frustrating for us, but wins are always tough in the ILH. I'm just glad we came out with this one today."

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].




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