Punahou upends No. 1 Pearl City in state baseball quarterfinal
Here comes Punahou — again.
The six-time defending state champion Buffanblu continued their march toward title No. 7 in a row with a convincing 8-1 victory over No. 1-ranked and previously unbeaten Pearl City today in a quarterfinal game in the Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball Championship at Iron Maehara Stadium on Wailuku, Maui.
Just as it did a year ago when it won an improbable sixth straight title, Punahou (13-5-1) entered the tournament as the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's third representative.
Last year, Kamehameha and Iolani finished ahead of Punahou in the ILH. This year, Saint Louis was the champion and Mid-Pacific the runner-up.
Like last year, Punahou needed to win a playoff game to gain entry. Last year, Punahou beat Mid-Pacific while this year, the Buffanblu beat Kamehameha.
Today, in the third quarterfinal of the day, pitcher Zachery Muenster kept Pearl City's batters quiet and four Punahou players — Michael Suiter, Kaiana Eldredge, Alaka'i Aglipay and Rick Nomura — each had two hits.
Eldredge scored two runs and drove in two. Nomura also drove in two runs.
The game was scoreless until Punahou scored two in the fourth. The Buffanblu added two more in the fifth and four in the sixth.
Mid-Pacific wins in 10th
Ryan Muraoka hit a three-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to lift Mid-Pacific to an 8-5 victory over Hilo in the day's first quarterfinal at Iron Maehara Stadium.
Mid-Pacific advances to Friday's semifinals against Punahou, which beat Mililani, 12-0, Wednesday and Pearl City, 8-1, today.
The MPI -Punahou semifinal is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
In another quarterfinal today, Saint Louis defeated Kailua, 4-2.
Saint Louis will play the winner of the Campbell-Baldwin game at 4 p.m. Friday.