Desmond's hot bat lifts Waikiki to win
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
WAIPAHU — It was some weekend for Ian Desmond.
The Waikiki BeachBoys' shortstop batted 2 for 3 with two RBIs in a 5-2 win against West Oahu yesterday in Hawaii Winter Baseball at Hans L'Orange Park.
Yesterday's HWB games were scheduled for seven innings because of a shortage of pitching, league officials said.
On Saturday night, Desmond cracked his first home run of the season in the top of the ninth —a two-run blast over a tree in left-center more than 400 feet away — to lead the BeachBoys, 3-1.
In Friday's scoreless, 11-inning affair, he had two of his team's five hits.
"You get one hit, you get confidence," said Desmond of his recent hitting surge that has lifted his average to .266. "I'm just riding that confidence over right now."
Desmond's RBI double down the left field line yesterday scored Dexter Fowler, who reached on a two out, two-base throwing error by third baseman John Whittleman, to put Waikiki (17-12) ahead, 1-0, in the third.
Desmond's RBI single in the fifth scored Jeff Clement from third to make it 2-0 against West Oahu's Takashi Maruyama (1-2),who eventually gave up three runs, only one earned, in six innings.
But the CaneFires (14-15) tied the game in the bottom of the fifth against Waikiki reliever Brian Anderson. Makoto Moriyama led off with a double and scored when Tomotaka Sakaguchi grounded a single by second baseman Chris Nelson to make it 2-1. Sakaguchi made it to third on the play when right fielder Nate Schierholtz's throw was wild back to the infield. Sakaguchi tied the game when Will Venable grounded out to second.
But Waikiki regained the lead in the sixth when Devan Ivany led off with a single and was lifted for pinch runner Eric Young Jr., who took second on Schierholtz's sacrifice and scored on Reed Eastley's RBI single to right-center.
Nelson, who committed a fielding error early in the game and felt he should've made a play on Sakaguchi's RBI single, made atonement with a two-run home run to left-center off Neil Jamison in the top of the seventh for insurance.
"I was just being too aggressive because I'm used to playing shortstop," Nelson said of Saka-guchi's hit. If I just laid back, I could've gotten him out at first."
Alex Hinshaw (1-1) entered the game with two outs in the fifth and retired all four batters he faced, while Andrew Johnston notched his fourth save, allowing two infield singles in the ninth without allowing them to score.
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.