Nationals hold off Mets in Mustang encounter

Shortstop Jondee Rivera packed a punch for the Lihu‘e Baseball League Mustang Mets by scoring twice Saturday.

But the effort fell short as the Lihu‘e Nationals were able to hold off the orange shirts for a 10-8 victory.

Earlier in the season, the Nationals clinched the LBL Mustang title and with Saturday’s win, finished the season 11-1 in a season that started March 31 and finished with Saturday’s game.

Against the Mets, the Nationals struck early and kept the pressure on by scoring three runs in the first, adding two runs in both the second and third frames before rounding out the effort with three runs in the fourth inning.

The 10-6 deficit didn’t bother the Mets who came charging back in the final two frames as its base runners stole on almost every pitch by the Nationals.

However, the effort could only net them two runs with Brooks Bethel scoring the final run on an RBI off Kelii Efhan.

Joining Rivera, who opened the scorebooks in the first inning, Nicholas Vallatini also scored in the first frame and went on to score his second run in the fifth inning.

Following them, Efhan, who was poised to score in the sixth frame with two outs, chalked a run in the fourth inning along with Kristopher Alcos. Bethel rounded out the Mets’ scoring.

For the LBL Mustang champions, Cal Koga, Michael Farley, Keenan Arroyo and La‘akea Iseri-Carvalho each scored twice. Nakoa Ibaan and James Ilae netted a run each in the win.

Led by head coach Milton Koga and his staff of coaches including Ryden Domingsel, Rory Ellamar, Kevin Gokan and Ryan Koga, the Nationals will be participating in the LBL annual Memorial Day baseball bash this weekend.

Nationals’ team players include Arroyo, Steven Braun, Michael Farley, Ibaan, Ilae, Iseri-Carvalho, Koga, Janessa Maghanoy-Louis, Keoki Planas, Shawn Rabaino and Kurt Rapozo. Francine Nakata is the Nationals’ team mom and Sam Nakata does bat boy duties.

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