Mililani to play for crown
WAILUKU – The Mililani High School baseball team has taken a long road to get right where it wanted to be.
The unseeded Trojans won their third Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I State Championship game in three days on Friday, beating No. 4 seed Hilo 8-6 in the semifinal round at Maehara Stadium.
“We were lucky to get out of that with a victory,” Mililani coach Mark Hirayama said. “In a big game like this we have got to take care of the ball better, do a little bit better job pitching. We left a lot of baserunners on. We’re just fortunate to get out of this with a victory.”
Mililani (12-7), runner-up in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, will face second-seeded Mid-Pacific Institute for the state crown today.
Hilo (9-4), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion, will play third-seeded Campbell for third place.
The Trojans broke open a 3-3 game with a five-run sixth inning, helped by three two-out errors that made all of the runs in the inning unearned. Sean Sonognini reached on an error and scored on the second error. Jamesson Madrid singled immediately after Sonognini and scored on an RBI single by Travis Maekawa.
Ekolu Ramos then lofted a shallow fly ball that center fielder Drew Kell dove for and missed, making the hit a two-run double. Ramos took third on a throw home and then scored when catcher Chayce Kaaua threw the ball past third baseman Elijah Cruz.
The Trojans took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Kanoa Wong walked and scored on an RBI single by Madrid, and Troy Kakugawa reached on an error and later scored on a single by Ramos.
The Vikings came right back in the bottom of the inning when Kaaua scored on a fielder’s choice, and took a 3-2 lead in the second – Tyler Higa-Gonsalves walked with the bases loaded and Kaaua, the next batter, was hit by a pitch.
Mililani tied the game on Kaiea Badiny’s bases-loaded single in the fifth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kaaua hit a sacrifice fly, and Jodd Carter followed with his second double in two innings, driving in two runs.
Madrid finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run, Ramos was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Badiny was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Carter was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Cruz was 2-for-3.
“We played a really good game, we kept battling, we didn’t give up, we stayed in the game as long as we could and finally it just caved in on us,” said Hilo coach Tony De Sa.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Presley Alcover, Cole Nakachi (5), Troy Kakaugawa (6) and Jamesson Madrid. Kody Kaniho, Jordan Tagawa (7) and Chayce Kaaua. W-Nakachi. L-Kaniho. Sv-Kakugawa. 2BMililani: Kaiea Badiny. Hilo: Jodd Carter 2.