Waipio 3, Kaimuki 2
KAPA‘A — Pitching and home runs extended play at the state Little League Majors tournament by one day, yesterday.
Khade Paris and C-Boy Donahue, sharing mound duties for Waipio, also whacked solo home runs while holding Kaimuki to just two hits in a 3-2 win amidst fans who never stopped cheering from Tuesday’s grand slam by Tanner Tokunaga.
But the game was not all long balls as up-and-down pitching gave Kaimuki its two runs on passed balls.
Tosh Taniguchi, on the mound for Kaimuki, was deliberate in his delivery, nursing each ball while, on occasion, looking to the center field fence while forming the pitch in his mind.
He worked through a full count before Donahue punched a lead-off home run, its flight indicated by the cheering blackshirts and upraised arms.
That gave Waipio a 1-0 bulge as Taniguchi settled down for two strikeouts in the inning, matching Waipio’s Khade Paris’ numbers for that frame.
But Paris got into trouble in the second inning. Striking out the first batter swinging, Ethan Rosehill got first on a walk followed by Quinn Cassidy singling to center field. Jared Tom drew first on a walk to load the bases and, on a passed ball, Rosehill scored to knot the contest 1-1.
Another passed ball saw Cassidy slide home for the 2-1 Kaimuki go-ahead before the frame closed on a fly ball to center.
But as the see-saw goes, Taniguchi also faltered in the bottom of the second as he walked Keenan Obedoza with one out. With two outs, Tokunaga followed on a walk to first before an RBI single from Trevor Ling drove Obedoza home to knot the contest 2-2.
Paris struck out the side in the third inning, and in his at-bat, took the third Taniguchi pitch and conked a solo home run to the delight of the black-shirted fans, the sphere making a high bounce off the road outside the park.
But Kaimuki wouldn’t lie down as the coaches kept telling the boys to battle.
“Don’t put down your heads. Battle, battle, battle! To the last ball, just keep on battling,” the coaches told the players.
With one out in the fourth inning, Cassidy drew first on a walk, and with two outs, Cy Fujioka singled only to have Kaimuki’s final batter go down swinging leaving two runners stranded.
With its starting pitcher tiring, Waipio replaced Paris with Donahue, but Kaimuki left a runner stranded as Waipio closed the frame on a fly ball to center field.
Similarly, Kaimuki put Rosehill on the mound for Taniguchi, and Waipio got Donahue aboard on a double as the ball dropped between the thirdbase-shortstop-leftfield triangle and the Kaimuki coaches groaned in anguish.
Paris got first after being hit by Rosehill with no outs before Rosehill settled down to strike out the next two batters in order before being changed with Cassidy who closed the frame.
But Kaimuki bats were silenced as they fell in order to suffer its first loss of the tournament.
Overall, Paris gave up two hits while striking out 10 Kaimuki batters through four innings. Donahue finished with no hits allowed while striking out three batters and walking none.
Taniguchi suffered the loss with two runs allowed on four hits while striking out six batters and walking two. Rosehill came in to close with one hit allowed while striking out two.
First pitch in the winner-take-all match is at 4 p.m. at the New Kapa‘a Ball Park.