Lihu‘e Broncos, Mustangs post opening day wins to start PONY tournament

Sam Nakata conked an RBI single and Keala Iwasaki scored in the ninth inning, Friday to give the Lihu‘e Bronco All Stars a 10-9 win over Waiana‘e in Hilo.

The Lihu‘e Broncos, earlier earning the right to play at the Protect Our Nation’s Youth state tournament by beating the West Kaua‘i Bronco All Stars 2-1, came from behind twice in the match despite six errors, four coming in the sixth inning, said Andrea Franier, a Garden Island writer in Hilo for the game.

Lihu‘e trailed Waiana‘e, 9-7 in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs on the board.

Patrick Esteban scored on a loose ball to pull Lihu‘e close and Chase Ibia, who earlier pitched six innings for Lihu‘e, got aboard on an error.

That pushed Brayden Abreu home for the 9-9 deadlock, setting the stage for Nakata’s bang in the bottom of the ninth.

Holding Waiana‘e scoreless in the top of the ninth, Lihu‘e sent Nakata to the box with two men on and one out.

Nakata lined a single to left field, pushing Iwasaki across the plate for the win.

Earlier in the day, the Lihu‘e Mustang All Stars, also earning the right to the PONY state tournament with a 2-0 win over West Kaua‘i All Stars, took a 6-2 win in six innings over Maui during its opening game.

Kobe Viloria went the distance for the Lihu‘e Mustangs to pick up the win on the mound.

The Kaua‘i PONY All Stars under coach Tommy John Cox are also in Hilo for the state tournament, but game results for their 4:30 p.m. match were not available at press time.

The Lihu‘e Bronco All Stars next take the field at Wong’s Stadium starting at 3 p.m. The Lihu‘e Mustang All Stars take the field starting at 3:30 p.m.


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