AJA season off to great start

The 2005 AJA champions Kalaheo were in form as they combined three pitchers to hold the Lihu‘e Builders scoreless through six innings en route to a 6-2 victory in Game 2 of the league’s season-opening double-header at Vidinha Stadium.

Earlier, Mason Lorenzo scored twice to lead the Hanapepe Rivermen to a 4-2 win as starting pitcher Michel Yaris picked up the win in eight innings with six strikeouts, but allowing eight Indian hits and a walk.

Makaweli Indians were on the trailing end through most of the game before picking up two runs in the sixth inning to take the lead.

Lorenzo, hit by an Owen Koishigawa pitch in the third inning, crossed for the first time to open the scorebooks on a Wendall Nonaka RBI double to left centerfield.

Lorenzo, walking to first from Travis Shigeta in the ninth, crossed the plate on an RBI single from catcher Tyrus Matsumoto, the feat being the second of two RBI notched by Hanapepe.

Ikaika Pezario opened the sixth frame for Makaweli with an RBI single to score Mike Shimatsu for the 1-1 tie. Pezario gave the Indians the 2-1 nod when he scored off an RBI single from Shigeta.

But Hanapepe came back in the seventh to score two more runs on two Makaweli errors as Wendall Nonaka got first on a Makaweli error, scoring Davin Yamase in the chain of events. Matsumoto also got life on an Indian miscue, scoring Justin Ganaden in the process.

The Indians had a chance at victory as Kainoa Pezario walked to first followed by Dr. Scott Shimabukuro singling with no outs. Jason Nakata’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position only to have Ikaika Pezario hit into a double play that gunned Kaina Pezario, sliding headfirst to home, at the plate for the 4-2 loss.

Garen Itamura (3-5) led the Kalaheo bats with an RBI. He was joined by Kainoa Santos (2-5), the 2005 league RBI champion, Jake Oketani (2-5), Dave Bukoski (1-2), Duane Miyasato (1-2) and Kaina McCallum (1-3) who each chalked up an RBI in the win.

Darran Sakai (1-4) and Aaron Adachi (1-4) led the Lihu‘e bats with an RBI apiece in the effort. Starting pitcher Mikey Cardinez, relief pitcher Allen Mundon, Curtis Sadamitsu, Cory Dotario, celebrating his birthday Saturday, and Curtis Matsumura each singled.

Kalaheo pitching duties were shared by Kaleo Saiki, Miyasato, Itamura and McCallum, with Saiki picking up the win in four innings with no runs allowed on two hits with four strikeouts and a walk.

Waimea will make their AJA league debut Sunday at 10 a.m. when they face Kalaheo at Vidinha Stadium. Lihu‘e will go up against Hanapepe in the second game.

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