ILH Baseball
Saint Louis wins ILH second round over Iolani


Fri, Apr 21, 2023 @ [ 3:30 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Iolani 0 000003381
Saint Louis 0 0 2112X6101

W: Yosei Takahashi    L: Ethan Nakamura

STL: Ryder Okimoto 2-4 2 runs rbi 2 dbl; Yosei Takahashi 4.0 IP 0 ER
IOL: Bruin Agbayani 3-4 run dbl; Kaimana Lau Kong 2.3 IP 1 ER 3 K

WAIPIO — This one was more one-sided than the final score indicated.

No. 4 Saint Louis capped an undefeated run through the ILH Division I second round with a 6-3 win over No. 8 Iolani Friday afternoon at Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.

After two scoreless innings, the Crusaders (13-4-1) manufactured runs in four consecutive innings to force a playoff with first round champion Kamehameha next Tuesday for the league's overall title. First pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m. at the same venue.

The Raiders (11-7-1) were nearly shutout for the first time this season, but they scored three unanswered runs in the top of the seventh thanks to a pair of miscues in the outfield.

Yosei Takahashi earned the win on the mound in four scoreless innings of work. Shannon Fee maintained the shutout over the next two innings before ace Jacob Villacorte came over from first base to finish the game.

Saint Louis starter Yosei Takahashi earned his second win of the season, scattering four hits with one strikeout across four scoreless innings. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

Ethan Nakamura took the loss for the Raiders, who used four total pitchers in the game. A win by Iolani would have forced another game on Saturday to close out the second round, which uses a double-elimination format.

Five different players recorded extra base hits for the Crusaders. Tanner Chun and Villacorte each legged out a triple and leadoff Ryder Okimoto knocked in two doubles and scored two runs. Kolby Gushiken and Chyler De Silva each also had a double.

Okimoto had a one-out double in the bottom of the third and Gushiken brought him home one batter later for the first run of the game. Gushiken would later come home on clean-up hitter Sean Yamaguchi's sac fly to left field.

De Silva started the bottom of the fourth with a double to center field on an 0-2 count. He stole third two batters later before coming home on a balk by Kaimana Lau Kong.

A two-out triple by Chun in the fifth inning extended the frame. The Raiders then intentionally walked Yamaguchi before Villacorte's RBI single to center scored Chun one batter later.

"That's just what it is when we get guys in scoring positions and then come through with extra base hits," said Saint Louis coach George Gusman. "(The Raiders) play a little shallow in the outfield so if balls hit in the alley, we get a good chance at hitting two or three."

Leadoff hitter Ryder Okimoto turns the corner around second base. He knocked in two doubles and scored two runs in the win. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

Another double by Okimoto in the sixth inning scored the fifth run for the Crusaders. He would later come home on a single by Gushiken that was misplayed by Iolani's center fielder.

The Raiders had their chances at runs throughout the first innings, but the Crusaders' defense was just better for the most part.

Iolani leadoff Bruin Agbayani and Lau Kong started the game with back-to-back doubles before a strikeout by Takahashi and a double play to De Silva at second base ended the threat.

The Raiders loaded the bases in the top of the third and Agbayani reached third base again, but another double play to De Silva ended the half-inning.

The Crusaders had another double play to end the top of the fifth when Lau Kong grounded out to Yamaguchi at shortstop in a 6-4-3 play. De Silva also flexed his speed and tracking ability to end the sixth when he made an over-the-shoulder grab in shallow right field near the foul line for the third out.

"We were dodging bullets with them as well," said Gusman. "They had some runners on, but we got a double play or an out on a line drive, so very fortunate."

Some luck went Iolani's way in the top of the seventh to avoid the shutout. Pinch-hitter Treydon Chong Kee got the inning started with a single to right field. After a fly out to Chun at center field, Agbayani hit another to single to right to put two runners on.

Rain started to pour at this point but play went on. Lau Kong should have flied out to center field on the next at bat, but Chun dropped a routine grab which allowed Iolani to load the bases.

Play was then stopped for nearly 10 minutes for a rain delay. The Crusaders got what should have been the final out of the game on an infield fly to Yamaguchi. Villacorte then walked Brandon Wada to put the Raiders on the board with the bases still loaded.

Designated hitter Cole Yonamine hit a ball into the outfield on the next at bat that floated over right-center. Chun and Okimoto both ran for the ball, but both stopped short and the ball dropped right in between of them to give Iolani two more runs.

Gusman said rain wasn't a factor for the miscues.

"I think the two of them are very aggressive, very talented outfielders. Somebody stop, didn't know what they should do. That's not going to happen very often."

The game would end one batter later when Cole Ide fouled out to Kahanu Martinez at third base.

The victory on Friday avoided another game for the Crusaders, who will have a few days off before taking on the Warriors on Tuesday.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].

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