KALAHEO — Mason Mendoza hit into two 3-run homeruns to lead the Lihu‘e Mustang All-Stars to a 16-2 victory over the West Kaua‘i Mustang All-Stars.
Playing before a sizeable crowd that ringed the Mustang field at Kalawai Park, Mendoza finished the day with a 3-4 showing in the batting box with two homeruns, a single and six RBI.
With the win, Lihu‘e Mustang All-Stars prepare to host the West Kaua‘i All-Stars in the second of the best two-of-three series, Thursday at the Mustang field in the Lihu‘e County Park. First pitch for that contest is at 4:30 p.m.
If a third game becomes necessary, a coin flip will determine the site for Game 3 which is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m.
Shane Ogata picked up the Lihu‘e win, giving up two runs on four hits, but striking out six WK batters and allowing just three walks. He got help from Mendoza who went in to close in the fourth inning.
West Kaua‘i was overwhelmed by the Lihu‘e lumberyard as its first three batters produced a run on three hits before getting a batter aboard on a walk.
Totally, Lihu‘e finished with 18 hits scattered between three pitchers through four innings in the contest shortened by the 10-run ruling.
The Lihu‘e redshirts literally hit the ground running as it piled up five runs on five hits in the first inning, its batters hitting around.
Three more runs on two hits scored in the second inning as Lihu‘e continued to hit, and followed that with five runs on five hits in the third and another three runs on five hits in the final frame.
Following Mendoza, Kurt Rapozo (3-4) added four RBI for Lihu‘e and scored twice.
West Kaua‘i was able to load the bases off a tentative Ogata in the first inning, getting runners on board with two hits and two walks, but left three runners on the bags as its final batter in the frame struck out looking.
Donald Traller was hit by a pitch to open the second inning for West Kaua‘i. He crossed the plate with two outs on an RBI single by Alyssa Miyamoto. Brayden Abreu followed in the order with another RBI single to score Miyamoto for WK’s second run.
Abreu tried to ignite the WK offense with a steal of second and third bases, but was left stranded.
Miyamoto finished the day leading the WK offense with a 2-3 showing in the batter’s box and scoring once.
Levi Sagucio singled in the first, and a Lihu‘e miscue saw the batter end up at second base in the third inning, but he, too was left on base.