LBL Braves, Manoa Dirtbags claim Bash 4 titles
By Dennis Fujimoto – The Garden Island
The Manoa Dirtbags racked up six runs in the third inning and added five more runs in the fourth inning to clinch the Mustang division, yesterday at the Bash 4 Memorial Day baseball tournament.
Joshua Maneno iced the Manoa win with a solo homerun to right field en route to the Dirtbags taking a 12-1 victory, and the Mustang title in a contest shorted by the mercy ruling following four innings of play.
Reggie McFadden, Jojo Hee, Lucas Gushikuma, Myron Manera and Mark Watten each scored three runs as the Braves took an 18-7 win over the Athletics for the Bronco division title.
The host Lihu‘e Baseball League had three of the four teams vying for division titles in the championship game, an aspect which pleased many of the fans who endured three days of baseball in the 24-team field.
“They’ll be back,” said Destry Carvalho, coach of the Lihu‘e Baseball League Mustang Dodgers. “I played ball with Manoa’s head coach Daryl Kitagawa and Craig Ibara at Hawai‘i Pacific University, and they’re already talking about bringing over a Bronco and a Mustang team for next year.”
Carvalho, whose Dodgers fell 6-4 to the Diamondbacks in the quarterfinals, yesterday morning, said the tournament was a test for the players.
“This gives them a taste of what college ball is all about,” Carvalho said while watching the Diamondbacks battle the Dirtbags for the title. “They (Diamondbacks) were already tiring when they came up against us in the morning. But, they went through three games to get to this point, and they’ve given everything they have. They have nothing left.”
The Diamondbacks, following its win over the Mustang Dodgers, went on to take the Waialae-Kahala Red Sox in the semifinals to advance to the finals.
The Manoa Dirtbags came through the quarterfinals by handing the Waialae-Kahala Angels its second loss of the tournament, and beat out the LBL Devil Rays in the semifinals to meet the Diamondbacks in the finals.
Fatigue was already beginning to show its face in the opening inning of the Athletics’ Bronco division matchup as the A’s starting pitcher Bryton Lumabao gave up a walk to the Braves’ leadoff hitter Reggie McFadden who promptly rounded the basepaths on stolen bases and scored off a Jojo Hee RBI single.
Hee scored on a Lucas Gushikuma RBI shot followed by Myron Manera driving Gushikuma home on a 2-run in-the-park homerun to deep right field for four runs in the opening frame.
The Athletics could not answer until the bottom of the third frame, but by that time, the Braves held a 14-run lead, including eight runs crossing in the top of the third.
Nakoa Ibaan, the A’s shortstop, paced the effort with two scores.
Earlier in the day, the A’s advanced to the finals through a default win over the Windward Dodgers on a player rotation error, and the Braves entered the final on a 5-4 win over the Windward Red Sox.
Manera opened the sixth frame with a double and went on to break the 4-4 deadlock on a balk off the Red Sox’s pitcher to advance into the Bronco division final.
Rich Mendoza, who was in the coaching staff of the Diamondbacks’ dugout, served as this year’s Bash 4 Memorial Day tournament director.
With the tournament settled, the LBL Mustang division will be playing against West Kaua‘i Mustangs in the Kaua‘i Section playoff starting June 10 at Kalawai Park.
The section playoff is a best 2-of-3 series and will start at 4:30 p.m. The second game will be played on June 12 at the Lihu‘e County Park Mustang Diamond starting at 4:30 p.m. with a third game, if needed, scheduled for June 14 at 10 a.m. at a site to be determined.
The Bronco division Kaua‘i Sectional playoffs will start on June 17 at the Koloa Park and on June 19 at the Lihu‘e County Park’s Main Diamond. Both games start at 4:30 p.m. with a third game, if needed, scheduled for June 21 starting at 10 a.m. at a site to be determined.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com