This time, Rick Nomura figured out Carlos Rodriguez.
Nomura socked an opposite-field two-run homer and an RBI double as Punahou outlasted ‘Iolani 7-4 last night in a game called due to darkness at the Raiders’ field.
"I was looking for that first pitch," Nomura said of his third-inning blast to right.
He struck out against the ‘Iolani southpaw twice in a matchup last week and didn’t want to wait around.
"(Rodriguez) got the pitch up," Punahou coach Eric Kadooka said, noting the carry of the ball once it got airborne. "The ball gets up there in that wind, it’s like par-5 across there (at the Ala Wai Golf Course)."
The Buffanblu, seven-time defending state champions, won despite three errors. If not for darkness, the Raiders, who had the bases loaded in the seventh and the lead down to two runs, may have rallied. They won despite nine strikeouts by Rodriguez.
The game began at 3:45 p.m. and was called at 6:48 p.m.
Over the span of a week, Punahou won two of the three games against its arch rival in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu’s new format.
Nathan Higa pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to get the win, but Zachery Muenster provided four solid innings as the starter for the Buffanblu. He didn’t figure in the decision.
"He did a good job," Kadooka said. "He kept us in the game."
Nomura’s early hitting helped Punahou take a 4-1 lead, but ‘Iolani rallied to tie it at 4-all entering the sixth inning. That’s when courtesy runner Peter Harris reached third base and Micah Hoshino was on first after a single. With two outs, Hoshino drifted off first base, inducing relief pitcher Michael Diebold into a throw to second. However, nobody was covering the bag and the ball sailed into center field, allowing Harris to score easily from third.
Leading 5-4, Punahou then got a single to left by Rolenn Himuro, scoring Hoshino. After Lanson Yamamoto walked, Nomura followed with a single to right, bringing Himuro home for a 7-4 lead.
With darkness becoming a factor in the seventh, ‘Iolani battled back and had the bases loaded with two outs. Dylan Goto drew a walk from Higa to cut the lead to 7-5, but the chief umpire had a meeting along the first-base line with ‘Iolani coach Jason Arakaki, and then called the game.
That ruling meant the final score reverted back to the end of the sixth inning.
The Raiders didn’t protest, but it was a sad way to end a tough battle.
"It’s just unfortunate," Kadooka said. "We learned a little bit about putting the ball in play and taking ‘Iolani’s best."
That included a fifth inning when the Raiders had three hits but didn’t score. Jensen Park got caught in a rundown off second base by Punahou pitcher Scott Peters. After the tag by one of Punahou’s infielders, Park retaliated and was ejected.
All in all, it was a frustrating afternoon for the Raiders and their fans.
"Wrong location, just wasn’t locating and we weren’t reading the batters right," Rodriguez said of his first-inning struggle. Mixing a sharp curveball and a fastball in the upper 80s, he finished with just one walk in 5 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and four runs.
He had a three-hitter in his last outing against Punahou, but lost.
"I’m still frustrated, but we need to stay focused so we can accomplish what we want to do," Rodriguez said.
Zachery Muenster, Scott Peters (5), Nathan Higa (6) and Kainoa Harrison. Carlos Rodriguez, Michael Diebold (6), Tyler Ushio (6) and Tiras Koon. W–Higa. L–Rodriguez.
Leading hitters—Pun: Rolenn Himura 2-4, 2 runs, RBI; Rick Nomura 3-4, HR, 2b, run, 4 RBIs. Iol: Christian Donahue 3-4; Jensen Park 2-3; Troy Odo 3-3, 2b, run, RBI.
Mid-Pacific 2, Damien 0
Nikolas Alarcio and Cy Higashi both singled to drive in runs to lead the Owls past the Monarchs.
At Central Oahu Regional Park
Travis Garcia, Lawrence Chew (7) and Dane Fujinaka. Jeremy Dela Cruz, Lyle Aloy-Glover (7) and Aalona Amimoto. W–Garcia. L–Dela Cruz.
Leading hitters—MPI: Garcia 2-2, 2b; Nikolas Alarcio 2b.
Saint Louis 5, Kamehameha 4
Kaeo Aliviado hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning as the Crusaders defeated the Warriors.
At Ala Wai Community Park
|Saint Louis (2-0)||200||300||—||5||5||0|
Tre Haliburton-Goeas, Rico Garcia (5), Kaeo Aliviado (6) and Dallas Correa.
Brennan Doane-Alcos, Keenan Lum (4) and Moku Kukonu. W–Hailburton. L–Doane-Alcos.
Leading hitters—StL: Aliviado HR.
OIA WHITE SOFTBALL
Waialua 12, McKinley 2
Sabrina Tolentino struck out eight batters in the Bulldogs’ victory over the Tigers.
Aiga Malagamaalii and Bitten Mitchell. Sabrina Tolentino and Alyssiah Hernandez. W–Tolentino. L–Malagamalii.
Leading hitters—McK: Yoon Ju Ryu 2-3, 2b. Wail: Kaili Agabin 2-3, HR, 3b, 3 runs, 3 RBIs; Hernandez 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Tayler Fitzsimmons 2-4; Cyerra Foster 2-3.
Waipahu 20, Anuenue 0
Tali Villiamu went 3-for-4 and drove in five runs as the Marauders shut out Na Koa.
W. Ganeau and B. Rios. Tali Villiamu, A.J. Miranda (3) N. Viliamu (3) and A. Sakamoto. W–Tali Villiamu. L–Ganeau.
Leading hitters—Anuenue: Ganeau 2b. Waip: Tali Villiamu 3-4, 2b, 5 RBIs; Tami Villiamu 2b; N. Villiamu HR, 3 RBIs.
Radford 17, Farrington 7
The Rams handled the Governors in six innings, scoring 17 runs on 10 hits.
Jasmina To, Kyleigh Lilo (5) and Ashley Decosta. Amanda Nicholas and Elizabeth Tuason. W–Nicholas. L–To.
Leading hitters—Farr: Chelsea Ornellas 3-4, 2b; Kyranica Afia HR. Rad: Nicholas 3-4, 2b, HR; Jessie Ines 3-4, 3b; Sanoe Tuitele 2-2; Brayanne Moe 2-4; Tuason 2-3.
Kahuku 8, Nanakuli 0
The Red Raiders got hot in the top of the second inning, scoring five runs in their win over the Golden Hawks.
P. Taulau and K. Cappian. C. Coco and K. Silva. W–Taulau. L–Coco.
Leading hitters—Kah: K. Latu 3-4 HR, B. Beaty 2-4, 3b; N. Yamamoto 2-4.