HANAPEPE — Kalaheo stepped closer to defending its AJA (Americans of Japanese Ancestry) Baseball title Sunday by handing the Makaweli Indians its first defeat of the 2006 season at Hanapepe Stadium on Sunday.
A two-run homer by Dave Bukoski to deep rightfield graced a four-run eighth inning to cap Kalaheo’s 11-6 seesaw victory.
Earlier in the contest, Kaleo Saiki, who went six innings on the mound for Kalaheo, soloed over centerfield in the fifth frame only to have Makaweli answer with a homerun of its own as Mike Shimatsu launched a two-run shot to left-field scoring Sean Jardin.
That was the final productive hit for the Indians as Kalaheo broke the seesaw by notching two runs in the seventh, and added four more in the eighth to pull ahead for good.
Saiki got off to a rocky start, issuing four walks in the opening inning. Makaweli’s Leighton Otoman started the scoreboard going by advancing around the basepaths on Kalaheo miscues and crossing the plate on a walk issued to Shimatsu.
Jardin got first on a fielder’s choice and scored off a single from Lance Nakata for the early 2-0 lead that stood until the second inning when Kalaheo answered on a 2-RBI double from Troy Kaneshiro who pushed Kaina McCallum and Bukoski across the plate for the 3-2 lead.
Saiki finished the day with 4 earned runs in six innings, allowing 6 hits, striking out 7, and walking 6 Indians. McCallum finished the contest with two innings, allowing a hit and striking out three.
Makaweli shared mound duties among starter Cody Dotario, Jason Nakata, and Gordon Muramaru with Dotario giving up 3 earned runs, and Nakata and Muramaru each giving up 4 earned runs.
Saiki (1-3) also drove in a pair of RBI as one of the Kalaheo hitters. Bukoski (2-3) netted a pair of RBI, as did Kainoa Santos (1-3), and Kaneshiro (1-3).
Liko Pereira (4-5), nursing a tender ankle late in the game, finished with an RBI.
Shimatsu(2-4) led the Indian bats with his 2-run HR. Jardin (1-5) and Lance Nakata (1-4) each had RBI. Otoman finished 2-4 in the effort.
Over at Vidinha Stadium, Hanapepe came up with 7 runs in the opening inning, but Lihu’e mustered 5 runs in the seventh, and 6 runs in the eighth innings to take a 14-12 decision.
Aaron Adachi (1-2), Mikey Cardinez (1-4), Dan Tanimoto (2-4), Ryden Domingsel (1-1), and Andrew Renaud (3-4) each carded a pair of RBI for Lihu’e, Domingsel whacking into a two-bagger.
Stanton Yoshimori (3-6) finished with an RBI on four singles. Curtis Sadamitsu (1-3), Cory Dotario (1-2), and Landon Samiano (1-4) each singled.
Quentin Natividad had the hot bat for the Rivermen, finishing the day 4-6 with 3 RBI.
Troy Yamase (1-5) drove in a pair of RBI with Mason Lorenzo (2-4), Brandon Hew (2-5), Davin Yamase (1-3), and Brandon Hashimoto (102) each driving in a run.
Hew, Troy Yamase, and Hashimoto finished with triples, Lorenzo and Hew whacked into doubles, and Kevin Suga had a single.
Sunday is the final game of the season before the elimination rounds start.