Mililani's Inaba blanks St. Joseph
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
The 6-foot senior right-hander threw a four-hitter to lead Mililani over St. Joseph, 5-0, in the opening round of the Wally Yonamine Foundation state high school baseball tournament yesterday. It was played at Les Murakami Stadium, where Inaba hopes to pitch in the future.
The Trojans (11-3), third in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association, will play No. 2 seed and defending state champion Kailua (11-3) in today's 2 p.m. quarterfinals. The Surfriders beat the Trojans in the OIA semifinals en route to winning their third OIA title. Mililani beat Kailua twice in preseason.
Inaba used his fastball in practically handcuffing the Big Island Interscholastic Federation's runner-up Cardinals. He used 78 pitches in his seven-inning complete game, walking one and striking out four. Of the 26 batters he faced, only two put the ball airborne, both for the final outs of the game. One was a pop to second and the final out was a hard-hit fly to left. Otherwise, every other batted ball was on the ground.
"I relied on my defense to get me out of most of the innings," Inaba said. "The defense was really strong today."
He got ahead in the count on nearly every batter by spotting his fastball in and out, and, of course, down. He reached a three-ball count on only one batter, Tyson Usui, who drew the only walk.
"His key today was getting ahead of batters," Mililani coach Cary Kihara said. "He used a lot of fastballs early in the count. He kept the ball low. That was the key."
Added Cardinals coach Gary Ahu: "We're just not used to that kind of pitching, I guess. It seemed like his ball was fast."
Meanwhile, his counterpart, Usui, allowed five runs on seven hits and six walks in taking the loss for the Cardinals (10-5).
Offensively, the Trojans were often running, stealing eight bases. Leadoff hitter Gainor Nitta stole four bases, being the front-end of two double steals. Courtesy runner Troy Flores had three steals, two on the back-end of the double steal attempts. He also stole third.
As for Inaba, he hopes yesterday's outing was an audition.
"I'm trying to come to UH," Inaba said. "Hopefully, I looked good today."
ST. JOSEPH (10-5) 000 000 0 0 4 2
MILILANI (11-3) 200 300 x 5 7 1
Tyson Usui, Che Duran (6) and Ben Bautista. Adam Inaba and Shawn Saito. WInaba. LUsui.
Leading hitters: St. JosephDavin Feary 2-3; Tyson Usui 1-2, walk. MililaniGainor Nitta 1-3, walk, 4 SBs; Troy Flores 3 SBs; Nick Mizusawa 2-4, triple, 2 RBIs.
Wai'anae 10, Kapa'a 0: Dane Awana and Chad Rodrigues combined on a three-hitter for the Seariders in a game called after five innings because of the 10-run differential mercy rule.
Awana pitched three innings, allowing two doubles and three walks, with six strikeouts for the win. Rodrigues allowed an infield single in two innings.
The Seariders tagged losing pitcher Kyle Neuberger for all 10 runs, six of them earned. A two-run double by Travis Rodrigues and two-run single by Michael Ferreira highlighted Wai'anae's four-run third.
Wai'anae will play top-seeded Kamehameha at 7 tonight in the fourth of four quarterfinal games.
WAI'ANAE (11-2) 404 02 10 8 2
KAPA'A (8-7) 000 00 0 3 4
Dane Awana, Chad Rodrigues (4) and Michael Ferreira. Kyle Neuberger, Kai Lopez (5) and Bradley Wakuta. WAwana. LNeuberger.
Leading hitters: Wai'anaeMichael Ferreira 2-4, 2 RBIs; Travis Rodrigues 1-2, double, 2 RBIs. Kapa'aTyler Wakuta double; Dustin Mundon double.
Roosevelt 7, Maui 4: Chris Mols pitched a three-hitter and survived a near-collapse by his defense in the bottom of the seventh to lead the Rough Riders.
Mols walked six with four strikeouts in using 124 pitches in the seven-inning complete game. All of the runs he allowed were unearned. Two errors himself led to Maui's first run in the second inning .
Leading 7-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Roosevelt infield committed four errors when the Sabers sent eight batters to the plate in the three-run inning.
Roosevelt will play fourth-seeded Hilo at 11:30 a.m. today in a quarterfinal game.
ROOSEVELT (11-3) 000 214 0 7 7 6
MAUI (16-5) 010 000 3 4 3 3
Chris Mols and Brandon Loo. Allen Castro, Manu Kaina (7) and Vance Otake. WMols. LCastro.
Leading hitters: RooseveltCorey Higa 2-3, RBI, SB; Matthew Terukina 2-3, triple, 2 RBIs; Brandon Loo 2-3, triple, RBI.
MID-PACIFIC 3, 'AIEA 2: Pinch-runner Kurt Uwaine scored from second base on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Owls.
Mid-Pacific (16-5) will play third-seeded Baldwin in a 4:30 p.m. quarterfinal today.
With the score tied at 1 with two out, Matthew Inouye doubled to left and Isaac Omura was intentionally walked. After Ryan Basco grounded into a force at third, Uwaine went to pinch-run at second for Omura. With Jonathan Hee at the plate, pitcher Blake Lamug's pitch was in the dirt and catcher Justin Nii had trouble locating the ball, as Uwaine scored the winning run.
'AIEA (9-4) 001 100 0 2 4 2
MID-PACIFIC (16-5) 000 011 1 3 5 2
Blake Lamug and Justin Nii. Ryan Basco, Patrick McGuigan (5) and Matthew Inouye. WMcGuigan. L Lamug.
Leading hitters: 'AieaTaylor Watanabe 1-2, RBI; Dylan Libadisos 1-3, RBI. MPIMatthew Inouye 2-3, 2 doubles, RBI.