WAILUKU - Manager Jamie Vermilyea shook up the lineup, and then Na Koa Ikaika Maui shook up the San Rafael Pacifics.
With only three starters in their regular spots in the lineup to begin the game, Maui began a six-game series against division-leading San Rafael with a 3-1 win in front of about 150 fans Tuesday night at Maehara Stadium.
All three Na Koa runs came on a pair of home runs - by players who hadn't gone deep all season.
With wind gusts reported up to 27 mph at the Kahului Airport, second baseman Keith Kandell gave Maui a 1-0 lead in the first and Victor Ferrante smacked a towering two-run homer to left in the second. Ferrante's blast came on his first at-bat of the season - he has been the team's closer lately and a reliever all season after starting his professional career as an outfielder in the Colorado Rockies organization.
"It was one of those things you don't expect to do," Ferrante said. "I haven't been a hitter since August. We talked about taking (batting practice) here and there just in case as an emergency player. Then today was kind of a surprise, I got in the lineup, hit one day of BP. I was just going to take the fun approach, go out there, have fun. I can't expect too much out of myself, nor do they, the coaches. It worked out."
Mike Williams pitched six solid innings, allowing one run and five hits for Maui to get his first win of the year. San Rafael started Jake Rasner, who entered the game 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA, fourth in the North American Baseball League.
North American Baseball League
Maui 3, San Rafael 1
Today's Game (HST)
San Rafael at Maui, 5:35 p.m.
Maui reliever Josh Larson entered in the seventh and got some key help from Chemah Sanchez, the regular third baseman who came in in the fifth. After John Hurst doubled to lead off, Sanchez dove and made a pretty play on a one-bouncer off the bat of Henry Calderon. Sanchez forced Hurst out of the baseline for the first out and Larson finished the inning with two more groundouts.
In the eighth, Sanchez saved a leadoff double by Zack Pace with another diving stop with Yoshihiro Doi on the mound. When Steve Boggs added a second straight single, San Rafael loaded the bases with no outs on an infield single by Johnny Woodard. Mikael Jova, the league's leading hitter at .371, popped out to first base for the first out.
Doi then got a double-play grounder off the bat of Chase Fontaine. Mike Koons pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save.
Na Koa (22-21) came in six games behind the Pacifics (27-16) in the North Division with 24 games left on the regular-season slate.
The only starters in their normal spots were shortstop Danny Sandoval, left fielder Waylen Sing Chow and catcher Nick Valdez.
"We had a couple things happen earlier, so I mixed it up and guys came through," Vermilyea said. "That was a big 'W.' "
Pacifics manager Mike Marshall was ejected in the fourth by base umpire Stephen Cramer after entering the field to argue a call for the second time in the inning.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
San Rafael ..... 001 ..... 000 ..... 000-1 ..... 10 ..... 2
Maui ................ 120 ..... 000 ...... 00x-3 ....... 6 ..... 0
Jake Rasner, Tyler Graham (7) and Matthew Alton, John Hurst (5); Mike Williams, Josh Larson (7), Yoshihiro Doi (8), Mike Koons (9) and Nick Valdez. W-Williams. L-Rasner. Sv-Koons. 2B-SR, Henry Calderon, Hurst; M, Danny Sandoval. HR-M, Keith Kandell, Victor Ferrante.
Leading hitters-SR, Johnny Woodard 2-4; Hurst 2-3; Calderon 2-4.