Sutton pitches Sabers to victory over Warriors
WAILUKU – Sammy Sutton doesn’t worry about much when he takes the mound for the Maui High School baseball team.
The 6-foot-2, 145-pound right-handed senior has recovered from an arm injury that kept him from pitching much last season.
Sutton (2-1) has surrendered just two earned runs in 18 innings this season and finished a 10-inning, two-win week with 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in an 8-3 victory over Kamehameha Maui on Saturday at Maehara Stadium.
The win lifted Maui High to 5-1 in the Maui Interscholastic League Division I race and left the Sabers tied atop the standings with third-ranked Baldwin (4-0), which had its doubleheader against King Kekaulike rained out later Saturday.
“I felt really good coming off the win on Wednesday,” Sutton said. “My arm was a little bit tight today, but I went out there for my team. Usually the next day (after pitching) my arm is a little tight, but I am still able to throw.”
In his outing Saturday, which included a 22-minute rain delay late in the game, he allowed just two hits after picking up for starter Callen Beeson in the Warriors’ three-run fourth that tied the game.
“I had trouble finding the curveball early but as the game went on it did pretty good and my fastball was working good,” Sutton said.
Sutton has emerged as a little-used reserve to a leader on this Sabers team.
“As a senior you feel it is your team, it’s your year,” he said. “You just pretty much want to do what’s best for the team and produce as much as you can, pick up everybody around you, make sure they feel a good vibe and they’ll keep putting out good vibes.
“This is really my first year pitching in high school. I was injured last year, so I didn’t really get to do much, so this year is my senior year so I want to do the best I can.”
Sutton was also 2-for-3 at the plate on a day Maui High smacked 15 hits.
Chazz Ishikawa was 4-for-4 before leaving for Maui High’s junior prom during the rain delay. Micah Isagawa was 2-for-3 with a triple and Jordan Yaji-Kawaha batted 3-for-4.
The Sabers knew how important the victory was with the Bears unbeaten so far in MIL play.
Sutton was the tough-luck loser in a 1-0, eight-inning decision to King Kekaulike on opening day when Na Alii’s Adam Howden through a no-hitter.
“Every game is important,” Sutton said. “Coming into these final two weeks, you have to keep getting those W’s. You get any losses, it could hurt you.”
The Sabers gave Sutton a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Isagawa smoked his triple to right field to knock in a run and then scored on a wild pitch.
Maui High padded the lead with three runs in the fifth. Kody Medeiros scored on a wild pitch, Mark Karavioitis hit a sacrifice fly and Isagawa had an RBI single.
“That was a big win,” Maui High coach Chase Corniel said. “We need to take care of what we have to take care of, one game at a time and hopefully we will be there at the end.”
Corniel is in his first year as head coach after taking over for Lee Yonamine. He is happy to have senior leadership from the likes of Sutton and Karaviotis, a shortstop who has signed to play next season at Oregon.
“That guy (Sutton) eats a lot of innings, throws a lot of strikes, very smart pitcher and he steps up for us when he needs to,” Corniel said of Sutton. “Whatever he has been asked to do, he’s been willing to do it.”
Kamehameha Maui fell to 3-6 after being swept by the Sabers and will face Baldwin this week.
“(Maui High’s) defense took care of the ball,” Warriors coach Brandon Kanamu said. “Their pitchers threw strikes, hit their location and hat’s off to them – that’s all I can say. Sammy is tough, he is a good kid and he works hard.”
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
KS Maui ……. 000 ….. 300 ….. 0-3 ……. 7 ….. 1
Maui High ….. 030 ….. 230 ….. x-8 ….. 15 ….. 1
Maile Santiago, Rylie Velez (4), Kaimi Gilliland (6) and Tyler Harry; Callen Beeson, Sammy Sutton (4) and Jaylen Suda, T.J. Molina (4), Suda (6). W-Sutton. L-Velez. 3B-Maui High: Micah Isagawa.
Leading hitters-KSM, Harry 2-2. MH, Chazz Ishikawa 4-4; Jordan Yaji-Kawaha 3-4; Micah Isagawa 2-3; Sutton 2-3.
* SEABURY HALL 11, LANAI 7: At Lanai City, the Spartans broke a tie with a six-run fourth inning. Henry Hegele and Kaleb Palmer combined on an eight-hitter on the mound for Seabury Hall.
The Spartans are 4-0 in MIL Division II play.
The Pine Lads dropped to 0-4.
Lanai …………….. 110 ….. 311 ……. 0-7 …… 8 ….. 0
Seabury Hall ….. 311 ….. 600 ….. x-11 ….. 12 ….. 0
Gerard Kaukeano and Kevin Tan; Henry Hegele, Kaleb Palmer (3) and Kaleb Palmer, Noah Walin (3). W-Hegele. L-Kaukeano. 2B-Lanai, Gerard Kaukeano, Kevin Tan, Francis Ebding, Kekoa Biho.