ILH Baseball
Akana powers Saint Francis past Damien


Thu, Mar 14, 2019 @ [ 3:30 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Saint Francis 2 010201693
Damien 1 1 00200492

W: Darian Kamibayashi    L: Jonathan Motas    SV: Brayden Nomura

DMS: Anthony Arecchi 2-4 2 rbi dbl; Jonathan Motas 5.0 IP 5 ER 3 K
SFS: Bubba Akana 3-4 run 3 rbi 2 trp; Darian Kamibayashi 4.3 ER 2 ER 3 K

WAIPIO — Bubba Akana slugged a pair of triples and drove in three runs to lead Saint Francis to a 6-4 win over Damien in Interscholastic League of Honolulu baseball at Patsy T. Mink/Central Oahu Regional Park Thursday afternoon.

The Saints (3-1) took the lead for good in the top of the third inning on Makana Poole's one-out RBI-double to pull ahead, 3-2.

Akana, a senior shortstop and clean-up hitter, batted 3 for 4. He hit a two-out triple to left field to stretch the lead to 5-2 in the fifth and belted another run-scoring triple for an insurance run in the seventh.

"It was real big," said Akana, who recalled the Saints falling short against the Monarchs for the ILH Division II title and the league's lone state tournament berth in each of the last two seasons. "We lost to them last year, or actually two years in a row we lost to them six times in a row, so to come out and get a win with all my friends at the start of the season was just great."

Darian Kamibayashi allowed two earned runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched in his first start of the season to get the win. He struck out three batters and walked three.

"He's an up-and-coming player for sure," Saint Francis coach Kip Akana said of his sophomore starter. "He's got a high baseball IQ. He plays third base for us when he's not pitching and he did well."

Brayden Nomura struck out two, walked one and scattered three hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief to pick up his first save. He gave up a two-run single against the first batter he faced, but kept the Monarchs off the scoreboard the rest of the way.

"He missed his spot and the kid put a good swing on it, but again, he was able to settle down and get the outs," Kip Akana said.  

The Monarchs trailed by a run, but loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning after a James Yamasaki error. Yamasaki, the Saint Francis third baseman, dropped the ball while trying to apply the tag on Damien's Kyle Kinney between second and third. However, Nomura came back to get Jonathan Motas to strike out looking for the second out. Nomura got out of the jam with a fly-ball out off the bat of Rivera Iaea to Poole in right field.

"Amazing," Bubba Akana said of the effort from both Saint Francis pitchers. "If the pitchers don't do their job then we wouldn't be in that game. They'd probably running all over us, but the pitchers did their job and we just made the plays."

Kip Akana credited Yamasaki for being able to overcome the error. Yamasaki recorded the first out of the bottom of the seventh on a 5-3 putout to retire Anthony Arecchi.

"That's the thing right, the mental game doesn't prevent errors, it's just about responding back and being present on this pitch," Kip Akana said. "Yamasaki should have got that out on that force play — he didn't — but he came right back the next inning and got that first out of the next inning and that was huge and if we're not focused on the next pitch and we let things carry over, then maybe we don't make that play."

Damien did manage to get a pair of base runners on in the seventh — which brought the winning run to the plate in the form of Kinney with two outs — but Nomura secured the victory with a ground-ball out.

Reece Kadota batted 2 for 3 with a walk and three runs scored and Yamasaki had a two-out, two-run single in the top of the first inning to give Saint Francis its first lead.

Damien got a run back in the bottom of the first on Kaysen Kajiwara's RBI-single and tied it in the second when Braeden Halili reached on an error to lead off the inning and eventually came around to score.

The Monarchs cut it to a 5-4 deficit on Anthony Arecchi's two-run single in the bottom of the fifth, but were unable to get any closer. They left the bases loaded twice and stranded 11 runners in all.

Jonathan Motas took the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits in five innings of work with three strikeouts and a walk. Iaea pitched the final two innings for Damien and allowed an unearned run, two hits with one strikeout.

Arrechi (2 for 4), Justin Motas (2 for 4) and Kinney (2 for 3) each paired hits for the defending D2 state champion Monarchs (0-5).

It was the first of three regular-season meetings between the teams. They will play again on Apr. 3 and Apr. 11, both times at CORP.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].




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