Dragons back on baseball diamond after 12 years away

Hana takes Trojans to 7 innings before falling 7-4

Hana High School’s Xade Vasquez hits an RBI double Friday. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

KAHULUI — Hana High School has not fielded a baseball team since 2007. Twelve years later, the Dragons are back on the diamond and competing hard.

After two mercy-rule losses to Seabury Hall last week, the Dragons took St. Anthony the distance on Friday at Maui High field, albeit in a 7-4 loss.

The Dragons had the tying run at the plate in the top of the sixth and seventh innings. They pulled off a nifty double play to end the bottom of the sixth and outhit the Trojans 6-2.

Nahinu Lind is the only senior on the Hana roster, which included just nine players on Friday.

“I was just hoping to make it to seven innings,” Hana coach Louis Hoopai said. “Shucks, we have a good bunch of boys — they was a little bit slow on the start off, but they went come back, do the defense, started to hit, scored a few runs.”

St. Anthony’s Jonathan Vergel De Dios slides into second as Hana’s Kolomona Kaupe fields the throw. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

After Hana scored a run in the top of the first on an error, the Trojans took a lead they would not relinquish with three runs in the bottom of the first. Hunter Otani and Geste Ornellas each had RBI singles.

St. Anthony pushed the lead to 5-1 in the second inning, scoring twice without a hit as the Dragons committed three errors.

Loea Helekahi Matsuda drove in two runs on a single and Xade Vasquez smacked an RBI double to pull the Dragons within 5-4 in the third.

St. Anthony scored twice in the fourth, the first run coming on an error and the second on a sacrifice fly by Otani.

Otani, the catcher and one of two seniors on the Trojans’ 15-player roster, was happy to see Hana on the field.

St. Anthony second baseman Evan Esner takes a third-inning throw from shortstop Robert Gebkin while attempting a double play Friday. They got the first out, but not the second. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“They were really good,” said Otani, who plans to study civil engineering at the University of Portland. “Having a team out there that is all good hitters, we really had to work hard pitching and catching to get around them.”

Otani said he is enjoying his senior season.

“I love my boys, I love playing baseball — any day I can play baseball is a good day,” Otani said.

The Trojans (1-2) played six-time defending MIL D-II champion Molokai last week and lost both games.

“It feels really good to win,” Otani said. “I’m glad Hana came into the league, so we have more people to play and it’s really good for us — I know how it is to play with nine. Not sure who’s going to show up, so it’s really good for Hana.”

Molokai’s Iokepa Pelekane pitches during the Farmers’ 9-0 win over Lanai on Friday in Kaunakakai. Pelekane struck out 13 in the two-hit shutout. -- RICK SCHONELY photo

In fact, the Trojans had nine on their roster just three years ago, according to coach Lionel Montalvo.

“Huge, it’s a huge accomplishment for our guys, especially this early in the season,” Montalvo said of the victory. “The games against Molokai was tough. I think we continue to get better. The week of practice that we had leading up to these games was important. We got a lot accomplished, but as you can see we still have a lot of work to do.”

Montalvo was happy to see Hana back on the field, too.

“It’s awesome that they are able to put together a team and come into the league,” Montalvo said. “That’s all good. We wish them well and success.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

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Hana 103 000 0–4 6 6

St. Anthony 320 200 x–7 2 5

Blade Hoopai, Loea Helekahi Matsuda (6) and Irie Pu-Akima; Jonathan Vergel De Dios, Matthew Sylva (7) and Hunter Otani. W–Vergel De Dios. L–Hoopai. Sv–Sylva. 2B-Hana: Xade Vasquez, Blade Hoopai.

MOLOKAI 9, LANAI 0

Molokai 710 000 1–9 6 2

Lanai 000 000 0–0 2 3

Iokepa Pelekane and Kaimana Nakayama; Devin Vidad, Naighel Calderon and Kane Tubera. W–Pelekane. L–Vidad. 2B–Molokai: Nakayama, Laysen Bush.

Leading hitters–Molokai: Slater Oswald 2-3, 2 RBIs; Jordan Kupau 2-3, run, RBI.

LAHAINALUNA 6, KING KEKAUKLIKE 2

King Kekaulike 000 001 1–2 1 5

Lahainaluna 002 040 x–6 10 3

Gavin Grossman, Ruder Antolin (5), Zach Hokoana (6) and Mike Beesing; James Smythe and Kealaula Medeiros. W–Smythe. L–Grossman. 2B–Lahainaluna: Kamahao Acpal, Kalewa Kalanikau, Kainalu Kaililaau.

Leading hitters–Lahainaluna: Smythe 2-4, run, RBI; Kaililaau 2-4, run, RBI.

MAUI HIGH 7, KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 6

8 INNINGS

Maui High 000 500 02–7 4 5

KS Maui 000 230 01–6 9 3

Aizeah Lakalaka, Tyrell Ruiz (5) and Keelan Yagi; Keoni Painter, Rio Moleta (4), Tristan Catan (8) and Ross Panlasigui. W–Ruiz. L–Moleta. 2B–Maui High: Kory Shirota; Kamehameha Maui: Taylor Arashiro Mamuad, Konnor Palmeira.

Leading hitters–Kamehameha Maui: Tai Kauhaa-Po 2-4, run, RBI; Moleta 2-4, 2 runs.

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MIL STANDINGS

DIVISION I

W L Pct. GB

Baldwin 3 0 1.000 —

Kamehameha Maui 4 1 .800 —

Maui High 1 1 .500 1 1⁄2

Lahainaluna 2 3 .400 2

King Kekaulike 0 5 .000 4

DIVISION II

W L Pct. GB

Molokai 3 0 1.000 —

Seabury Hall 2 0 1.000 1⁄2

St. Anthony 1 2 .667 2

Lanai 0 1 .000 2

Hana 0 3 .000 3

Friday’s Results

Molokai 9, Lanai 0

St. Anthony 7, Hana 4

Lahainaluna 6, King Kekaulike 2

Maui High 7, Kamehameha Maui 6, 8 inn.

Today’s Games

Lanai at Molokai, 10 a.m.

Hana vs. St. Anthony at Maui High, 10 a.m.

King Kekaulike vs. Lahainaluna at Maehara Stadium, 3:30 p.m.

Maui High vs. Kamehameha Maui at Maehara Stadium, 5:30 p.m.

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