For two innings, Leilehua looked like a team destined to mar Mililani’s unblemished record.
Eleven errors later, it wasn’t meant to be. Down five runs, the visiting Trojans scored 14 unanswered en route to a 15-8 win over the Mules at Howard Oda Field in Wahiawa.
Ninth-ranked Mililani improved to 7-0 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West. Leilehua (3-5), which matched Mililani with 11 hits, did little to support starting pitcher Lawrence Paas once the Mules took a 6-1 lead. The junior lefty induced a number of playable grounders that turned into miscues and extra outs for Mililani. Five of Mililani’s 15 runs were earned.
Thrust into a key role for the first time, sophomore Kanoa Hiraoka pitched 523 innings, allowing two runs and five hits for the win. He fanned four and walked three. After showing promise during the winter with the junior varsity team, Hiraoka became one of eight sophomores to make the varsity squad.
"I just tried to do what I’m supposed to do, throw strikes. My fastball, I threw mostly fastballs, hardly any sliders. I didn’t throw any change-ups at all," the 6-foot right-hander said.
With his three-quarter delivery, Hiraoka’s fastball tails in on right-handed batters and had Leilehua frozen for a stretch.
"I don’t know what my ball looks like, but I heard it tails and people can’t hit it," he said. "I feel good and I had fun."
The Trojans showed composure from start to finish.
"We were up 6-1, but you’ve got to give Mililani credit. Mililani came right back," Mules coach Lane Watanuki said. "Same thing on Wednesday. We jumped to a 4-0 lead. Mililani doesn’t press the panic button."
"I always tell our guys, try to win every inning," Trojans coach Mark Hirayama said. "Our pitching staff, I have a lot of confidence in all the guys, all the sophomores we brought up this year. I knew Kanoa was ready."
Hiraoka entered after starter Cody Mark pitched just one-third of an inning. Mark, coming off a long layoff because of a badly bruised leg, faced just six batters in his season debut. By then, Leilehua’s Kenan Sadanaga and Paas had drilled run-scoring doubles. After John Pratt-Baptista’s RBI single, Leilehua led 4-0 after just one frame.
Cyrus Ah Quin and Sadanaga each tripled, and Paas added a run-scoring single as the Mules opened a 6-1 lead after two innings.
Soon enough, Mililani benefited from two Mules errors to score five runs. Troy Kakugawa, another sophomore, advanced to third on a wild pitch and kept going. He scored when Paas, the pitcher, was slow to cover home plate and dropped the throw from catcher Ian Kaopua. That allowed Mililani to take a 7-6 lead in the top of the third.
Cody Mark, Kanoa Hiraoka (1), Cristian Namoca (7) and Wade Taoka; Lawrence Paas, Cody Academia (5), Cyrus Ah Quin (6) and Ian Kaopua, Joshua Lorenzo (6). W—Hiraoka. L—Paas.
Leading hitters—Mil: Jacob Mariano 2-4, 2 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 runs; Justin Revilla 2-3, 3 runs. Lei: Cyrus Ah Quin 3-5, 3B, 2 runs; Kenan Sadanaga 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2 runs; Paas 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; John Pratt-Baptista 3-4.
No. 4 Pearl City 11, Waianae 1
Chevis Numata struck out five as the fourth-ranked Chargers cruised by the Seariders.
Chevis Numata and Isaac Shim; Jobe Cabral, Alan Ibanes (5) and Austin Reese.
Leading hitters—PC: Tyler Tokunaga 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Austin Bolosan 2-4, RBI; Kyle Tom 2-3, 2 runs; Kory Nakamura 2-3,2B, 2 RBIs; Kai Kealoha 1-2, 3B, 3 RBIs;. Wain: Josh Naki 2-3.
Kapolei 10, Campbell 0
Trey Kamachi pitched a two-hitter and the Hurricanes scored nine runs in the seventh against the Sabers.
Kapolei’s Joshua Simmons batted 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs and Robert Depp scored twice.
Trey Kamachi and William Leskovec; Robert Kahana, Jaris Flora (7), Brannan Okinaka (7) and Chadwick Kaalekahi.
Leading hitters—Kapo: Kim Donald 2-4; Lonnie Santiago 2-4; Kaulana Naki 2B; Robert Depp triple, 2 runs; Joshua Simmons 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs. Camp: Sau Momoe 3B.
‘Iolani 15, Maryknoll 1
Carlos Rodriguez pitched a five-inning no-hitter with seven strikeouts, and the Raiders put the game away with an eight-run third inning.
Westin Fabro batted 3-for-3 with a double and four RBIs and Christian Donahue went 4-for-5 with two doubles for ‘Iolani, which had 22 hits.
Carlos Rodriguez and Tiras Koon, John Ryan Matsuura; Aaron Tom, Matthew Yap (3), Michael Nishiki (3), Ryan Nakamura (5) and David Nishiki, Spencer Young.
Leading hitters—Iol: Dylan Goto 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Christian Donahue 4-5, 2 2B, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Tanner Nishioka 2-2, 3B, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Kody Mento 2-2, 3B, 3 runs, 2 RBIs; Troy Odo 2-2, 2B; Westin Fabro 3-3, 2B, 4 RBIs; Troy Esaki 2B, 2 runs; Matsuura 2B.
No. 1 Saint Louis 16, Pac-Five 6
No. 2 Mid-Pacific 34, St. Francis 0