Aiea rebounds to hand Maui third place

HANAPEPE — Gavin Shon of the Mililani A Bronco All Star team will head out to second base at 8 this morning.

Mililani A was leading the championship game against Aiea, 9-4 in the top of the fourth inning when afternoon rains created an unplayable field forcing the suspension of the game.

Mark Domingcil, one of the Kaua‘i Protect Our Nation’s Youth leaders, said the games will resume at 8 a.m., weather permitting.

“If it rains and the field is still unplayable, Mililani A will be awarded the title based on that team having the best record in the tournament,” Domingcil said.

But an earnest effort will be made to continue the game, and if the game gets past the fifth inning, it will be considered a full game so whichever team is in the lead will be the winner if the game gets called.

“If Aiea can overcome the deficit and win the contest suspended by rain, another game will take place starting at 10 a.m.,” Domingcil said.

The Aiea Bronco All Stars earned its berth against Mililani A in the championship game after edging the Maui Bronco All Stars to third place with a 3-2 win in a game played at 10 a.m., yesterday.

In that game, Brent Sakurai picked up the win by going the distance on the mound, giving up two runs on eight Maui hits. He finished by striking out five batters and walking none as Aiea rebounded from its loss to Maui, Sunday in extra innings.

Sakurai, who led the Aiea bats with a 2-3 showing in the box, yesterday, scored once. He opened the contest with a single and went on to score on a passed ball for the early Aiea 1-0 bulge.

Waylen Puha, who suffered the loss for Maui on the mound, held Aiea to just four hits throughout the contest, and following Sakurai’s opening single, did not allow another Aiea hit until the fourth inning.

In the fifth inning, Aiea pushed two runs across on two hits for a 3-0 lead. Matthew Weidenbach was hit by a pitch and pinch hitter Mark Kuja drew first on a walk with one away to set the stage for Sakurai’s second hit of the day. First baseman Keenan Lum followed with a 2-RBI single before Maui closed the inning.

Maui came back with two runs in the sixth inning, but the effort fell short despite out-hitting Aiea 8-4. The only inning Maui produced no hits was in the third when the Aiea defense shut down the batters in order.

Isaac Burrows singled to open the sixth for Maui and scored on an Aiea miscue. With two outs, Cayde Omura singled and scored off a Chaze Ishikawa single before Sakurai struck out the final batter.

With that game settled, Mililani A bats were waiting for Aiea as the A team scored six runs on seven hits in its first at-bat.

But where the Mililani bats were strong, the pitching gave up three Aiea runs on just a single hit in the bottom of the frame as Mililani pitching pushed three runs across the plate on walks to Aiea batters before Mililani replaced its starting pitcher with Cody Academia.

“We’ve faced him before and our boys can hit him,” one Aiea parent said as Aiea pulled to within two runs in the second inning.

Sakurai opened that frame with a stretched-out single, landing at second base on a shot to rightfield and scored on a Jacob White RBI single with one out before the Mililani pitching change.

Mililani pulled ahead in the third inning, pushing three runs across on three hits, two of which were bunt singles.

“They did that to us, yesterday,” said Ross Shimabuku, one of the Aiea coaches following the suspension of the game. “We trained the players to handle that situation, but…”

In answer to the Mililani short game of bunts and dinks, Aiea went to a defensive change of Brayton Sakai to the mound.

“Hopefully, he’s a little quicker out there to get to those short hits,” Shimabuku said.

The game resumes this morning at 8 a.m., weather permitting.

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