Na Koa surrender top spot
WAILUKU – Different week, different location, different results.
Dane Sardinha hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh inning as the Hawaii Stars defeated Na Koa Ikaika Maui 8-5 on Friday in a Pacific Association game at Maehara Stadium.
Na Koa swept a six-game series from the Stars last week in Hilo, but Hawaii (5-11) has taken three of the first four games of this six-game set in Wailuku.
Maui was done in by sloppy defense Friday. Na Koa (11-5) committed six errors, which led to three unearned runs. Five of the errors were on throws.
“It’s really just disgusting,” said Maui manager Jeff Brooks, whose team fell into second place, a half-game behind the San Rafael Pa-cifics. “What we’re capable of doing and what we’re doing every night is unacceptable. There is no excuse for the way we’ve been playing. We’re playing like a bunch of Little Leaguers.”
Onan Masaoka (1-3) allowed five runs over six innings for the victory. Brian Escanio worked the ninth for his second save of the season.
Hawaii’s Marshall McDonald tied the score at 5-5 in the seventh with a one-out RBI single off Zach Foster (1-1). A passed ball put two runners in scoring position before Sardinha lined a 2-0 pitch over the head of center fielder Waylen Sing Chow.
“I was looking for a fastball to hit,” Sardinha said. “I knew he had to come with strikes so I got lucky.”
The Stars added an insurance run in the ninth on Tyler Krobetzky’s single.
Jeremy Williams’ two-run homer in the fifth put Na Koa in front 5-4. Chema Sanchez and Ray Serrano hit back-to-back homers in the first.
“It’s nice,” Brooks said. “It’s fun for the fans to put some runs on the board, but offensively we’re not executing. Not getting guys in from third with less than two outs.”
Maui’s Jesse Smith allowed four runs – one earned – over six innings. He walked two batters and struck out nine.
“When other teams give you opportunities, you have to take advantage of those opportunities,” said Hawaii manager Garry Templeton II. “In Hilo, we weren’t taking advantage of the opportunities we had offensively or defensively. Here on Maui we’re starting to take advantage of our opportunities.”
Prior to the game, Na Koa honored the Kihei Little League team that won the District III 9-10 title earlier this month.
* Kyle Sakamoto is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawaii ….. 210 ….. 010 ….. 301-8 ….. 8 ….. 2
Maui …….. 201 ….. 020 ….. 000-5 ….. 9 ….. 6
Onan Masaoka, Mike Jackson (7), Brian Escanio (9) and Tyler Krobetzky; Jesse Smith, Zach Foster (7), Byron Minnich (7), T.J. Macy (8) and Nick Valdez. W -Masaoka, 1-3. L -Foster, 1-1. Sv-Escanio (2). 2B-Hawaii: Matt Hibbert (4), Dane Sardinha (5). 3B-Hawaii: Katsuaki Furuki (2). HR-Maui: Chema Sanchez (1), Ray Serrano (6), Jeremy Williams (2).