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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Perfect Game Showcase expanding to Big Island

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

It appears the first Perfect Game Showcase two weekends ago was successful enough that event coordinator Mike Spiers will not only bring it back, but expand it as well.

Spiers said because the strong turnout of Big Island players showed some promise, he said Perfect Game will hold one showcase session on Hawai'i to be followed with another on O'ahu.

"They have some good players on the Big Island," Spiers said.

He also was impressed with players from Mid-Pacific Institute.

"Dunn (Muramaru, MPI's coach) does a good job," Spiers said. "They're as fundamentally sound as you'll see."

Spiers added he wants to assemble an ABD (Amateur Baseball Development) team of freshmen and sophomores from Hawai'i to play in a summer tournament. He also is considering making an 18-under team of Hawai'i players for another summer tournament.

Meanwhile, a tournament held in conjunction with the showcase ended yesterday with Hawaii Blue beating MVP Baseball, of Oxnard, Calif., 6-5, in the title game of the Perfect Game 18-under Baseball Championship Series at Les Murakami Stadium. Iolani senior C.J. Johnson's run-scoring double highlighted a five-run fourth. Mililani senior left-handed pitcher Robert Reid notched his third save of the four-team tournament.

"It shows that Hawai'i can play ball," Johnson said of the win.

Johnson was one of a number of Hawai'i players to impress Perfect Game personnel. After last week's showcase, he received a call from UC Riverside, he said.

Kurtis Hawkins, of Kealakehe, had three steals in yesterday's loss for MVP Baseball.

Pearl City sophomore Cory Yuh allowed two runs one earned on five hits with two strikeouts in four innings to pick up the win for Blue. Tom Filip was charged with six runs in five innings for MVP in taking the loss.

In the third-place game, ABD of San Bernardino, Calif., beat Hawaii Green, 7-6.

The teams played a round robin and were seeded accordingly. Third-seeded Blue and fourth-seeded MVP won the semifinals to advance to the championship.

Hawaii Blue was made up of Hawai'i players, while Green had all but four players from here. The other two teams had sprinkles of Hawai'i players.

Among the players in the tournament was ABD outfielder/third baseman/pitcher Matt Jaimes, of Chino High in California. He signed a letter of intent in November to play for Hawai'i.

"Everything about this place, I love," Jaimes said. "The people, the food, the field. I get such an adrenaline (rush) just coming here. I want to come here. I want to make an impact when I come to college here."

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at skaneshiro@honoluluadvertiser.com.